Wrote this recently though I’d been working on the idea for a while. I have been interested in the idea of concepts that the English language has no matching word for ever since I first read the Neal Stephenson book “Snow Crash”. For those who haven’t read it (or can’t remember), the protagonist muses on the Japanese word, zanshin. The nearest meeting point in English is “emotional intensity” but it’s not quite right.
Mokita has a translation that has a closer meeting point, but English still has no matching word. Mokita describes a situation wherein everyone is aware of a topic but no one will discuss it. It’s not taboo, though a taboo is often the reason for mokita. I think the closest explanation I’ve encountered is a friend telling me of the “White Elephant” in a room that everyone is desperate to ignore.
Anyway, this being one of the reasons I have this blog up and about, feel free to read and critique.
There is a word I cannot say.
It is stuck to my tongue
Trapped amongst the silent k’s
and unvoiced vowels that languish
in the hollow spaces of my language
A word is trapped between my teeth.
Like a mouthful of paint,
it stains everything else that I say.
Leaving me desperate
to give it a voice and an exit.
This word is replacing my silences.
It is the worst kind of secret,
one that everyone is keeping from each other.
Barring itself from discussion.
Festering in the dead air it creates.
Tags: poetry, critique, mywork
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Reading: The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
Listening: “Domestic Harmony” by Do Re Mi