Monday, 31 December 2012
A Poetic Riddle
"When Chuang-Tze explains that the Tao experience implies a return to a sort of elementary or original frame of mind, where the relative meanings of language are inoperative, he resorts to a play on words that is a poetic riddle. He says that this experience of returning to what we originally were is like ' entering a cage of birds without making them sing'. Fan means both 'cage' and 'return'; ming both 'song' and 'names'. The sentence therefore equally means 'to return to the place where names are superfluous': to silence, to the kingdom of the unsaid. To the place where names and things melt into one: to poetry, the domain where naming is being"
Octavia Paz, quoted in the Preface to For The
Birds: John Cage in Conversation with Daniel