Monday, November 06, 2006

NogaNote III:

I'm still on the subject of silence.

Anne Carson

Epitaph: Evil (from her 2000 collection Men in the Off Hours)

To get the sound take everything that is not the sound drop it
Down a well, listen.
Then drop the sound.
Listen to the difference

Does anyone understand this poem?

What is "everything that is not the sound"? Silence?

And when you listen to silence, you hear .. what? Nothing. More silence.

Then you drop the "sound".

What makes sounds? The words that are (supposed to be) attached to silences, and things that make noise, and thus communicate what they are, inform, alert, explain, express, emote.

You listen to the "difference".

The difference between silence and sound, shatters. Is this why the poem is an "epitaph" to evil? Evil, which the difference, the gap, the incongruity, between silence and sound; evil that is predicated upon the difference between silence and sound, between neutrality (keeping silent) and engagement (speaking up).


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