Description: Please think about this. No one who has read even a sampling of my work would accuse me of not giving poetry its due. However, there are things that can't be said perfectly with words. It's the same with all other media too. Even photographs come out wrong. That's my point. Language also colors what we think. German has words for concepts that English does not(doppelganger, for example). Language filters perecption.
Language is a Cage -------------------------------------------
Language is a prison cell.
I am penned to say
only what words can articulate.
Language is a dictatorship
that filters all I experience,
and other means of expression
are equally tied to rules
that my mind refuses to obey,
but these imperfect reproductions
are all that I have.
my pitifully crude sculpture
carved with broken chisels
I agree with the sentiment and ideas put forward in this poem. Despite 'language being a prison', you managed to test the wall pretty well and be as expansive in your vocabulary as possible. HAving said that, in all honesty I didn't really enjoy reading this. I think maybe it is the lack of structural techniques. So I'm sorry if thats blunt but its honest. I truly do agree with the message conveyed though.
i ahve to agree with haAtzmah and karmel, the many different ways that words can be used doesn't make then a barrier of expression, its just trying to find the right words that is a barrier to some , in regards to your poem, i find it lacking in some places where others are very expressive , the writing was good otherwise
I didn't have a problem with the structure at all. I was reading and thinking about what it is we do when we write.
And you're right. We feel things, we can't see them. Those poems are the doppelgangers of our thoughts, haunted by ghosts in a tangible form. Maybe that's why a piece that you or I wrote that was SLATED here could still be our very favourite poem of all time; because it was the closest we came to truly pinning that elusive streak of emotion.
I liked the ending, the carving and broken chisels. That worked for me, a lot... the only art I ever flunked at was sculpture; I told them I cannot work with inanimate objects! ("What's a pen, then?" Yes, I know...)
"Language is a dictatorship That filters all I experience" I really think that just another line or two here could really round this off nicely. Something about mail being censored by a scornful psyche, or something. Lethalogica, and all that. This is good, Amy. Well done for bursting through the block. It's 6am... WHY are you still awake?!
As usual... a very well written poem. And I think I understand where you're coming from with the 'being a prison' idea. If you have a certain perspective of words and the images they create it is necessary for the reader to have the same perspective to interpret it correctly. It causes limitations and boundaries and your lines "Language is a dictatorship That filters all I experience" carries the essence of the poem. Loved it!
I dont agree or disagree with the ideas portrayed in this poem, its all up to the person. Very well put. How in the many ways you try to pull your thoughts from your head and slap them on paper or carve them in clay you realize that your thoughts are too abstract to be read or seen, so elusive they drive you crazy.
I agree with you totally that language isn't perfect. And that things can't be said correct with the Enlish language. Or any language. I think it's true for other types of media as well. Like photography. Maybe I'm thinking way into this but I think words and photos, more often than not, don't capture the emotions and senses that we so desperately want to convey which only limits us to 'our way of thinking' if you will. That's why I think education is such an important thing for future generations. To expand our knowledge of language and other types of expression. Even if we can't get the full range of emotion we can at least try to get a spark out through our imperfect words. Anyway! Enough of my ranting. I enjoyed this poem. You got your point across that no matter how perfect everyone thinks the 'English' language is - or any other for that matter - it will be the imperfections that help us escape from the prision cell of language.
sometimes you can say more with a gesture than with words. language is imperfect. I like English cause it's an easy language and one English word can have many German expressions. you can interpret a lot more into English than into German. German is so rigid. but it's also very percise. good poem.
i agree... sometimes words come overrated and they seem to be acting very much like gravity... there are pros we linger on and cons we hope we could extinguish. then comes the thought that language was never really there in the first place. it was created to make things simpler and yet there are these windows for strife to enter.
based on your -ism post, this one is really about languageism. the beauty is that your memory combined with your language make this yours, and your readers' perceptions combined with your words make it theirs. although, none could ever really reproduce what it was ever meant to be.
I missed this the first go round, but saw some comments about it at another page, so I followed the links. I so agree with your ideas, and English is supposed to be a language with more words than some, to better express ourselves. I think many people spin words to evoke the response from readers that they desire. For example, the word shower sounds gentle and easy while torrent give a bad omen with visions of floods and death. The connotations and denotations of the vocabulary are vast, and yet, we are still misunderstood. If we weren't, why are there so many misunderstandings and feuds on this site? I doubt anyone comes here looking to disagree. I'm rambling. Anyway, I enjoyed this and I'm glad I found it, later, Dave
Poetry is much about pushing the envelope and licking the stamp (not a very original comment I think) and making language contrort to do the impossible. You have on occasion shamed circus acts in this respect (Heavens unmade for instance). Keep pushing.
Hello Amy, I'm back after a long break, and what do I see? Of course you have been writing a lot, and after reading this one I can only state you are hell-good as always! Well, I must say there is a beautiful song called "Language", written and composed by Suzanne Vega, and it's incredibly similar to most aspects to your piece. I agree - language is a cage, well, it should be up to communicate and express ourselfs, but actually:
"I won't use words again they don't mean what I meant they don't say what I said"*
That's what the other forms of art are for, to amplify the meaning of words, the expression. Great one.
this is a unique theme and I like how you've treated it. One thing I notice, I stumble on the rhythm at the end of the third line, maybe that's intentional, the prison door slams shut? Some say that we create our reality by our thoughts and words." I think, therefore I am" was the first ride in the Des carte. I better stop! nansofast