Before I sit down to write this morning, here's a brief blog post knitting together some favourite quotes from Wittgenstein, Adrienne Rich, and Jack Gilbert on the power and inadequacy of words as deeds, and on what goes up and up in us nevertheless.
“Words are deeds,” argued philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Still, “we may feel bitterly how little our poems can do in the face
of seemingly out-of-control technological power and seemingly
limitless corporate greed,” writes Adrienne Rich. “Yet it has
always been true that poetry can break isolation, show us to
ourselves when we are outlawed or made invisible, remind us
of beauty where no beauty seems possible, remind us of
kinship where all is represented as separation."
Which is why “I crank my heart even so and it turns
over. Ranges high in the sun over continents and eruptions
of mortality, through winds and immensities of rain
falling for miles," says Jack Gilbert. "Until all the world is overcome
by what goes up and up in us, singing and dancing
and throwing down flowers nevertheless..."