Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Sunday Post




If we lived in a world where bells
truly say 'ding-dong' and where 'moo'
is a rather neat thing
said by a cow,
I could believe you could believe
that these sounds I make in the air
and these shapes with which I blacken white paper
have some reference
to the thoughts in my mind
and the the feelings in the thoughts.

As things are
if I were to gaze in your eyes and say
'bow-wow' or 'quack' you must take that to be
a dispairing anthology of praises'
a concentration of the opposites
of reticence, a capsule
of my meaning of meaning
that I can no more write down
than I could spell the sound of the sigh
I would then utter, before
dingdonging and mooing my way
through all the lexicons and languages
of imprecision.

'Linguist'
By Norman MacCaig, October 1964.

5 comments:

dbs said...

Words do indeed fail us but not so terribly as we might think sometimes. Thankfully.

Nicky said...

Another lovely MacCaig entry for us! I also loved the reference to "cows" and "bells", given your current European location!

Alistair said...

That's true dbs - {for me most of the time anyway!}

Nicky - Jings.....I hadn't thought of that before, but now you mention it.......!!!

The Gaelic Wife said...

Riffing on Nicky's post... More cowbell!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKV3iCOlOMw

Alistair said...

Owwww!

Nice one GW!

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