November 30, 2012

You don't need to know a thing about quantum entanglement, wherein one atom can affect another even though they are separated by tremendous distance, to have some sense that our lives are always larger than the physical limitations within which they occur. We exist apart from our existences, you might say; we are connected to the world and to other people in ways we will never be able to fully articulate or understand... There is such a thing as a collective unconscious. There is such a thing as a spirit of place, and it reaches beyond geography. And poetry, which is a kind of quantum entanglement in language, is not simply a way of helping us to recognize the relations we have with people and places but a means of preserving and protecting those relations. For many people, true, poetry will remain remote, inaccessible... But who knows by what unconscious routes poetry is reaching into lives that seem to have nothing to do with it? Who knows what atomic energies are unleashed by a solitary man or woman quietly encountering some arrangement of language that gives their being--shunted aside by chores and fears and who knows what--back to them? 

- Christian Wiman

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