folly –

I don’t think you could mistake this poem for one by anybody else but Samuel Beckett. The title “What is the Word” gives the sense of uncertainty, futility and despair that pervades Beckett’s worldview. And yet the poem shows the struggle to find the word, to find meaning is worthwhile and can in itself bring meaning and beauty to existence.

Look and listen to how the poem builds hesitantly, gropingly to some kind of meaning, without that meaning ever being complete. Like life itself. But it has a beauty which is enhanced by the fact that it is not or seems not to be a polished and neatly wrapped piece.

WHAT IS THE WORD
Samuel Beckett
for Joe Chaikin

folly –
folly for to –
for to –
what is the word –
folly from this –
all this –
folly from all this –
given –
folly given all this –
seeing –
folly seeing all this –
this –
what is the word –
this this –
this this here –
all this this here –
folly given all this –
seeing –
folly seeing all this this here –
for to –
what is the word –
see –
glimpse –
seem to glimpse –
need to seem to glimpse –
folly for to need to seem to glimpse –
what –
what is the word –
and where –
folly for to need to seem to glimpse what where –
where –
what is the word –
there –
over there –
away over there –
afar –
afar away over there –
afaint –
afaint afar away over there what –
what –
what is the word –
seeing all this –
all this this –
all this this here –
folly for to see what –
glimpse –
seem to glimpse –
need to seem to glimpse –
afaint afar away over there what –
folly for to need to seem to glimpse afaint afar away over there what –
what –
what is the word –
what is the word

From <http://www.samuel-beckett.net/whatistheword.html&gt;

Is it folly to want to know what is the word? To glimpse it from afar, way over there? To need to know? Every addition to the question brings it back to the notion of folly. And yet the poet carries on. And yet we carry on, either conscious or oblivious of the absurdity and meaninglessness of all we do, but doing it anyway, because we have no choice and yes, because there is beauty in it.

The Poetry Dude

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