'The Saying and the Said' by Sarah Rice | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

Timing and manner my mum would always say
and it's true, the how and when override the what
of what's said, and the same is true of poetry.

I don't think people remember their tone when speaking –
other people's yes, but not their own. Tone, like texture, is crucial
for the feel of things – is it honey or cactus, metal or water?

And if the words float toward you like ducks on a pond
looking for crumbs, or if they are the hard grit
embedded in a harsh wind as it lashes your face,

the words themselves matter less than the manner of their coming –
words that slip in to visit you in their night gown, or words that slip
their owner's leash and attack in packs and will not be called back.

Some words have tiny green tendrils that climb like pea shoots,
while others bite their nails and yours. It is a shame we cannot feel
the weight and warmth or will of saying, instead of what's said.


 Sarah Rice


'The Saying and The Said' begins at 1:53