the word is mightier than the sword

You can never write without inspiration. So here are two texts from two writers I admire, that phrase the power of words in beautifully made sentences. Because I believe Shakespeare, that the word is mightier than the sword. And it will always fascinate me how a word can pierce a heart without touching it.

Words, English words, are full of echoes, of memories, of associations -naturally. They have been out and about, on people’s lips, in their houses, in the streets, in the fields, for so many centuries. And that is one of the chief difficulties of writing them today -that they are so stored with meanings, with memories, that they have contracted so many famous marriages… In the old days, of course, when English was a new language, writers could invent new words and use them. Nowadays it is easy enough to invent new words -the spring to the lips whenever we see a new sight or feel a new sensation- but we cannot use them because the language is old… Our business is to see what we can do with the English language as it is. How can we combine the old words in new orders so that they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell the truth? That is the question.
– Virginia Woolf

Words are like seeds, I think, planted into our hearts at a tender age. They took root in us as we grow, settling deep into our souls. The good words plant well. They flourish and find homes in our hearts. They build trunks around our spines, steadying us when we’re feeling most flimsy; planting our feet firmly when we’re feeling most unsure.
But the bad words grow poorly. Our trunks infest and spoil until we are hollow and housing the interests of other people and not our own. We are forced to eat the fruit those words have borne, held hostage by the branches growing arms around our necks, suffocating us to death, one word at a time.
– Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me

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This entry was published on October 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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