In his memoir, Dog Years, the poet Mark Doty writes, “only part of our reality is representable in words.  I feel immersed in things I can’t name most of the time.”

Still, he is a poet and a writer.  He spends his life fighting against the unnameable.  Despite our efforts, he says “something is always escaping.”

We search for the right word.  We know it’s there.  We attribute its lack to ourselves, not to its inexistence.   Most of the time we are right.

“We suffer a loss,” he writes, “leaving the physical world for the world of words….”

Think of the sensation of a rough surface on the tip of a finger –the goal is to feel it again reading those words.  The words by their nature come second–a step removed.

Despite the loss, he says our attempt to exist in the world of words gives us “our personhood.”

Don DeLillo, in Falling Man writes, “She knew there was something she’d wanted to say all along and it finally seeped into wordable awareness.”


September 30, 2008 Columbus, Georgia

This is what we want–wordable awareness.

Bookmark and Share