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He wishes to speak clearly

I want to diagram my mind. No, not
The brain, but the associations. Why
The sound of a sitar is not as hot
As the crunch of snow. The sitar leads, by
Memories' path, to olive oil, a door
That stands open, whereas the snow sound leads,
By that same way to firelight on the floor.
Words that others use always carry seeds
Of things in my mind, that I want to show
On paper, in words or images that
Others can read; have those seeds go and grow
In other minds, that they would know, get at
The things I mean rather than, as today,
To get along with what I write or say.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
May. 24th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
For some reason, this makes me think that you would write a good sestina. :-)
May. 25th, 2010 08:18 am (UTC)
Sestinas are an ambition, but I've yet to have a serious go at one. You get so few distinct words in them; they each have to be chosen carefully.
May. 25th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
And on the other hand, one might just arrive in my head.
May. 24th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
*flails ineffectually for nonexistent Like button, attempting to press it multiple times*

...especially the last few lines. So. Cool.
May. 24th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Are you having trouble communicating something in particular?
May. 25th, 2010 08:17 am (UTC)
Generally, no. It's mostly because it's not troublesome that this thinking comes up. And this isn't in any way a practical project, although it might be a amusing one to have a go at.

The issue is that any concept that I want to communicate has to be stripped down to words (or colours, images, sounds, tone of voice, expression, etc), whereas in my head, each word in the expression of that concept carries an incommunicable payload of extra information, associations, memories, implications. That also happens in the mind of the listener (reader, etc), so that each of us is only seeing a fraction of the "real" conversation.
May. 25th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC)
I know *exactly* what you mean. :)
May. 25th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
Words are inadequate signifiers. I make my living in this very area, in some ways, trying to interpret or call attention to the meanings that are implicit, allusive and often plain personal. One of the reasons I'm still at it is the sheer joy when you see someone largely grasp this.
May. 25th, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC)
But a lot of that is 'noise'. On both sides of the equation. This is a general problem with clear communication. Poetry is really the flip side of clear communication, and is usually more useful at communicating tone or mood. More so than in other forms of communication, poetry encourages 'noise', particularly at the receiver end.
May. 25th, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
I am remembering you don't like poetry...

It's not noise, any more than, say, the incidental flavours in food are noise, or the sounds of different instruments are in music (as opposed to pure tones). It's all part of the point.

The clearest communication is exactly what I mean to say. But exactly what I mean to say comes with a raft of associations and complexities that don't get carried in the words, so it's never perfectly clear.
May. 25th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
I do like poetry, I just like simple poetry like that of John Betjeman or Pat Ingoldsby. I value clarity and don't want to be guessing what was meant.

As for noise, a lot of what you associate with something is not relevant to the point at hand, and should be filtered out. And it is incumbent upon the receiver to also try and apply a filter to their own associations so that clearer communication can occur. I understand that you would intend to do that too, but want to add more nuance.

I actually like the challenge of that communication. Whilst it often sounds really pretentious, I love peoples attempts to describe wine flavours and lately chocolate flavours.
May. 24th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
like bluedevi, i want the like button. i like this, i really really like this. but i feel wordless acclaim is better.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


The Wizard of Duke Street
The Wizard of Duke Street
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