Thinking Without Words

Have you ever thought of what it would be like to think without words? What would it be like to think without pictures, syllogisms, typeset, linguistic codification in binaries, tertiaries, quaternaries, or any other “aries?” Touch has been considered a language but that is dependent on a sensory image. I am curious about the hard question, or in the human case, it is fairly grey and soft spread through a network of nerves, the question of “consciousness.”

What is it that makes us, us? I am asking because I feel like most poets have had the experience of feeling their psyche push forward into wet ink blotches quickly crossed out and written again. “driven by the wind” we say, “’driven by the wind’ just doesn’t seem right…” we wield our pen and scribble out “driven” replacing the word with “blown,” but it is still not “right.” There is something inside of us, pushing out its sentiment and taking body in our words. The sentiment must not be the words themselves then, the words are only the vessels of transmission. What is the essence of the thing that is itself transmitting though? How come our transmission, “blown by the wind,” feels inadequate still? There is another attempt, for some us endless attempts, until we say “’parted,’ yes ‘parted by the wind.’”

What was it about me, and what is it about us as poets, signaling deep inside that “parted” is more true to my sentiment than “blown” or “driven?” Some sensor, some gauge, some poetic trip-switch, always ready to tell me when my vocabulary and syntax aren’t adequate to convey some sentiment. If the metric is always measuring my words, what is it measuring them against? My soul? My innate self? How come I don’t have a word adequate to describe that?     

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