Friday, 31 July 2015

It's the Way You Tell Them

The other day I was irritated by a book John Gray wrote, in which - among other things - he endeavoured to demonstrate that he and Mauthner and Beckett and someone else I've forgotten were all in agreement that language is not a reason to feel superior to other creatures.

I suppose if John Gray had made his point with the elegance of Les Murray in his poem The Meaning of Existence, I might have been more receptive. Here it is:

The Meaning of Existence, by Les Murray

Everything except language
knows the meaning of existence.
Trees, planets, rivers, time
know nothing else. They express it
moment by moment as the universe

Even this fool of a body
lives it in part, and would
have full dignity within it
but for the ignorant freedom
of my talking mind

From the collection called Poems the Size of Photographs  published in 2002

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