This may be the best short discussion ever written about words as signs (semiotics) vs. words as music, especially in poetry

A. R. Ammons, “Motion” (c. 1961-65)

 

The word is

not the thing:

is

a construction of,

a tag for,

the thing: the

word in

no way

resembles

the thing, except

as sound

resembles,

as in whirr,

sound:

the relation

between what this

as words

is

and what is

is tenuous: we

agree upon

this as the net to

cast on what

is: the finger

to

point with: the

method of

distinguishing,

defining, limiting:

poems

are fingers, methods,

nets,

not what is or

was:

but the music

in poems

is different,

points to nothing,

traps no

realities, takes

no game, but

by the motion of

its motion

resembles

what, moving, is—

the wind

underleaf white against

the tree.

 

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1 Response to This may be the best short discussion ever written about words as signs (semiotics) vs. words as music, especially in poetry

  1. Edmundo says:

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