LANGUAGE DOES NOT

Image result for cakes and ale in renaissance painting

Language does not do

Anything. It adds not doing

To our being. It is unthinkable.

Just as when my mouth kisses and loves, I drink

The undrinkable.

But when I do not love, I drink

Everything she and I think,

When, apart from each other, we cannot love and kiss.

That’s when language misses what we miss.

The poem makes me confess—

(This is a paradox, but not a mess—)

I guess that’s what I wanted:

Breasts she happened to have;

I loved her for letting me have them,

But not her, and she despised me

For wanting them too desperately,

Even as to love them too indifferently

Were also something bad.

Life and love, not language, makes us mad;

Language introduces the unthinkable;

Language does not.

And this saves us,

Who would otherwise rend and tear and eat

The undrinkable.

 

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