For millennia we have scribed our thoughts;
put pen to paper and as such preserved
all manner of inspiration… all sorts
of wonder. So conscripted, we’ve conserved
in good faith the font of reason’s reference.
Forever more attached, writ and listed:
sentenced, word-by-word, the very essence
of a flourish: styled but never twisted.
Written as to permeate our culture,
bold-stroked messages indelibly inked
to imitate form, or shape a future
world; built upon words, most beautifully linked.
. It’s the cursive script of pen or quill,
. that reveals the hand of a writer’s will.
Tim Grace, 14 December 2011
To the reader: I was wondering… were the Egyptians able to turn a poetic phrase in hieroglyphic form? In search of an answer, I stumbled on the ‘Lettrist Movement’ led by Isidore Isou; post the second world war. Lettrism’s Manifesto rallied against the atomised letter and the destructive power of the word. Far from enabling freedom of thought, lettrists perceived letters and words as insidious links in a constricting chain; manipulated by the literati. According to Lettrism, the hieroglyph does less damage in transporting and translating an experience across a thoughtful medium such as poetry. I’m still wondering…
To the poet: Letterism aside, preservation of a word-based poem requires a script that will authentically transport a message through time and space; so that some time later… the distant reader can retrieve their own uniquely crafted assembly of ideas. In scripting a poem, the skill is in the crafted management of its future impact on the reader. Used too functionally, too literally, the script can lack fertile nuance and starve the text of ambiguous translation; for at the heart of reading and writing poetry is creative interpretation.