A Eulogy for Words

The Color of HeavenArtscroll



A EULOGY
FOR WORDS

by Rabbi Nota Schiller



We have come here today to bury these words
Our words once
Today
Everyone's, no one's
There has been a war
They have served
Nouns, verbs and adjectives,
The adjectives they went first -
Here lies Peaceful
Over there Courageous with
Patriotic right alongside
And here, the maimed and bloodied bodies
Of a family
The Lovings -
Freedom-Loving, Truth-Loving, and
Peace Loving
Concepts lie crippled and homeless
Feeling crushed and paralyzed
In this mangling of language
Meaning dripped and spilled all over
Young ideas and old truths
Exploded together
Under heaps of shrapnel
Torn and ripped syllables
We found Sanity and Truth
Arm in arm,
Seems one tried to save the other -
Which we'll never know

Are there words that still live on this earth?

Are there plasmas of meaning under, above
Or on this ground?

Dear wordless peoples of the world
Widows of simile, orphans of metaphor
Choked by hyperbole,
How our hearts hurt for the handsome
Young wounded words
Dying and dead

In silence Lord
Dear Lord of Sound and Sense
With thickening dumbness Lord
We are bereaved.


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