Phantom House Books Nigeria commemorates the International Day of the Word by public reading, starting with a poem by the hour, every hour, and distributing free Tee Shirts in Lagos! Get yours here at http://www.phantomhouseafrica.co.nr until 00:00 GMT today!
8: 00 GMT
I live between the fire and the plague…
with my language…
with this mute universe.
Adonis (1929- )
Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory, preserves contact…
it is silence which isolates.
Thomas Mann (1875 – 1955)
The Magic Mountain
If confusion is the sign of the times, I see at the root of this confusion a rupture between things and words, between things and the ideas and signs that are their representation.
Antonin Artaud (1896 – 1948)
French actor, playwright, and writer.
The Theatre and its Double
And the stone word fell
Upon my still living breast.
Never mind, I was prepared for this.
Somehow, I shall stand the test.
Anna Akhmatova (1889 – 1966)
“The Sentence” (Peter Norman (tr.))
As pine trees
hold the wind’s imprint
after the wind has gone, is no longer there,
retain a man’s imprint
after the man has gone, is no longer there.
George Seferis (1900 – 1971)
Greek poet and diplomat.
“On Stage” (Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard (tr.))
The world’s history is a divine poem, of which the history of every nation is a canto, and every man a word.
James A Garfield (1831 – 1881) U.S. president.
It becomes still more difficult to find
Words at once true and kind,
Or not untrue and not unkind.
Philip Larkin (1922 – 1985)
“Talking in Bed”
What is honour? A word. What is in that word? Honour. What is that honour? Air.
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
English poet and playwright.
Henry IV, Part 1, Act 5, Scene 1
In countries where the imagination of the people, and the language they use, is rich and living, it is possible for a writer to be rich and copious in his words, and at the same time to give the reality, which is the root of all poetry, in a comprehensive and natural form.
J. M. Synge (1871 – 1909)
The Playboy of the Western World
Until we learn the use of living words we shall continue to be waxworks inhabited by gramophones.
Walter de la Mare (1873 – 1956)
British poet and novelist.
The Observer (London), “Sayings of the Week”
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’
Lewis Carroll (1832 – 1898)
British writer and mathematician.
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There