…You hear stories, of but a few words, that speak of a poet touched by the hand of God. Such was the greatness of this poet that he’d managed to capture all his work in one single Word. A Word that contained the entire universe, complete with its oceans and deserts.
A Word of infinite depth, which when read out loud, would stop Time.
The stories tell of a country in a desert with no end. They recount that one day a poet in rags came from the confines of the Kingdom to tell the absolute Word to the Sheikh; a set of syllables which, linked in a certain, unique way, would contain all the truth of the world. A single Word to name the infinity of beings, shapes or colors, a Word outside of language, outside of time.
The preparations for the saying of the Word lasted an entire week. From all close and distant cities came the nobles of the warrior caste, and the most respectable women of the Kingdom, to hear the Word that would contain the totality of existence.
The poet was a nondescript man with empty eyes and clumsy gait. Two guards led him to the stone stairs, where the court sat: the Sheik, the nobles, the guards and even a couple of wizards concerned about the possible consequences of what the stranger would say.
The poet, unaccustomed to such luxury, smoothed his rich new clothes, cleared his throat and took a deep breath. Then, without further ado, he shouted the Word.
It was a short, high-pitched cry, which echoed in the ears of the nobles for a few seconds.
The hall began to fill with whispers.
The Sheikh got up and left.
The next day when the sun rose, the poet was hanged in the central square.
Translator’s note: Andrés Rozada, our son-in-law, wrote this text in 2015. Seven years ago. He was taken away from us, in 2017, exactly five years ago today. He was a gifted architect, and a man of many talents. Writing was one. This is an extract of a slightly longer text in Spanish called “A matter of Time”. His writings, along with contributions from friends and family are available in Spanish at a dedicated site, to which I will be glad to send you the link if you wish though it is in Spanish and I know ‘Words’ can be a barrier…
Love you Andrés.