written

Writing is planting.
Writing is born in the lands of wet-farming.
The field prefigures the table and page.
The garden prefigures the table and page.
Writing derives
from the domestication of water.
Rain and the sea
are the mothers of letters.
The mind of the scribe
moves like a long-legged waterbird,
stoops like a rice-farmer, steps like a crane.
When you next see the hunters,
say to the hunters:
O say can you see
how the earth is rewritten
under our hands
until it says nothing?
Say to the hunters: the herders
have taught us the metres, but we
have forgotten. Say to the hunters:
Teach us a song
as subtle as speaking, teach us
a song as lean and as changeable
as the world.

[Robert Bringhurst, The Blue Roofs of Japan:
a Score for Interpenetrating Voices (1986)]

written

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