Illuminated Student Poetry
University of the Arts Window on Broad St.
333 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

Poem by UArts student, Camille Sassano,
Illumination by Brendan Timmins
July 2013

Phonetic Etiquette
Camille Sassano

I'll begin my foreword as I move forward, fix my bow and take a bow,
as I can recall a time before I knew the word "word" or a difference between "then" and "now."

I can re-collect recreations of recollected recreation—
a time before my imagination could label "differentiation."

So excuse me for a minute while I make minute excuses
about why I choose my words wisely to describe their many uses.

For a word is worth a thousand words—with them I realize how
I finally have grown out of my groans and can realize I realize now.

How can language be so useful when it's so often misread and misused?
Has its misinterpretation or our interpretation been abused?

For if we could mean what we say by saying what we mean,
would it be read the same way as we meant it to read?

And is the meaning always right if I write the words correctly
or would their meanings skip a beat if I wrote out "beet" imperfectly?

And if one word alone could loan to other meanings,
would those meanings loan meaning to the meaning of "meaning"?

We can be ignorant of our ignorance about how to make use of our instruments,
learning-by-ear without instructions to use words as implements.

Though we can't all pair a perfect pitch or pitch a perfect strike,
and can't all strike a perfect match or match a perfect pair alike

We can compliment words' complements to access excess preconceptions,
except to expect to accept they affect words' effects and their varying deceptions.

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