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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Words and Meaning IV

The waitress ends every sentence with "you know what I mean." A useful shorthand. She doesn't have to take the time to say what she means--formulate her meaning in words. She doesn't even have to know what she means; I presume she does not. She launches the opening of meaning like a trained bird which lands like a flock of butterflies or an array of snowflakes, no two the same, on your shoulder.

He launches the possibility of meaning thus in a poem: he launches perhaps meanings which you take meaningfully. Or leave empty.

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