Responding

Naming the possible, responding to the impossible. Responding does not consist in formulating an answer, in such a way as to appease the question that would obscurely come from such a region; even less in transmitting, in the manner of an oracle, a few truth contents of which the daytime world would not yet have knowledge. It is poetry’s existence, each time it is poetry, that in itself forms a response and, in this response, attends to what it addressed to us in impossibility (by turning itself away). Poetry does not express this, does not say it, does not draw it under the attraction of language. But it responds. Every beginning speech begins by responding; a response to what is not yet heard, an attentive response in which the impatient waiting for the unknown and the desiring hope for presence are affirmed.

— Blanchot, ‘How To Discover the Obscure’ (trans. S. Hanson)

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