of the crush of information that presses in on us from the way
a crow flies over and the way
a man walks and the look
of a street and from what we did
one day a dozen years ago.
Words that will express something of the deep complexity that makes us
precisely the way we are, from the momentary effect of the barometer
to the force that created men distinct
from trees.
Something of the inaudible music that moves us along
in our bodies from moment to moment
like water in a river.
Something of the spirit of the snowflake in the water of the river.
Something of the duplicity and the relativity and the merely fleeting quality of all this. Something of the almighty importance of it
and something of the utter meaninglessness.
And when words can manage something of this, and manage it in a moment, of time, and in that same moment, make out of it all the vital signature of a human being – not of an atom, or of a geometrical diagram, or of a heap of lenses – but a human being, we call it

-Ted Hughes, in POETRY IS
(For You. For Me. For All.)


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