“This is not a bear.”
That is what Magritte would say.
A bear is very large,
Warm and alive,
With shaggy fur,
With claws protruding from every paw.
I knew a dog once
Whose name was Bear.
He was large, warm, alive.
He had shaggy fur, teeth, claws.
He was not a bear.
He was a dog.
Sometimes my friend calls her husband
Her husband is large, warm, alive.
A bit shaggy.
He has teeth, no claws.
He is not a bear.
When we call something, someone
We mean to evoke, invoke
Is that magic?
Which evokes “bear” more completely:
A sketched figure, which has the form of a bear?
Or the word,
Which conjures in both our minds
The living creature itself?
Used with intent
Heard with attentiveness
Words have strange consequences.
They come alive.
Words can make things happen.
The magic of words is not
Just a thing of long ago.
The magic still happens.
Ideas move from my mind to yours
With only a word.
The word is not the thing itself.
The word is the magic.
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