I love powerful, emotive words – words that make you think, words that stir up emotions in the reader. The power of the written word should never be underestimated, but it often is, especially in the business world where people carelessly, or maybe just thoughtlessly, throw any old words into their web copy, blog posts, or other promotional material.
My home page features the following quote because it holds a lot of meaning from me, and I have a desire to share not only its beautiful poetry, but also to underscore the sheer power and permanence of the written word. If anything can sum up the power of the written word it’s this.
The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.
This comes from the book, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám, which is a translation or perhaps more correctly an adaptation (by Edward Fitzgerald) of ninth century Persian poems written by Omar Khayyám. Interestingly, this gentleman was not only a poet but also a mathematician and astronomer.
His words have stood the test of time and have appeared in book titles by Agatha Christie and Stephen King; music by Woody Guthrie and many others, and been featured in dozens of movies and television shows.
I suppose the point of this post is to remind us that words can live on, long after we are gone – that is, if we are lucky and have the forethought to make them count.
I’ll leave you with the quatrain that follows on from the previous one.
“And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky, Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die, Lift not thy hands to it for help — for It Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.”
Thoughtful stuff. I wonder how many words written today will still be quoted some 900 years from now!