Osho on Poetry and Silence

Osho – Words are inadequate. When you really have something to say they are always inadequate. When you have nothing to say they are very adequate…. Knowing this, one can do two things: either one can become a poet or one can go into silence. And my suggestion is that to go into silence is negative. The positive is to become a poet. Knowing this – that words cannot say much – try to say through some other means. Poetry is that. What prose cannot say, poetry tries to say.

Poetry does not depend on words. It uses words but it doesn’t depend on words. It is as fire comes out of wood but is not wood; it is the same with poetry. It comes out of words but it is not words. It is not wood – it is fire. The beauty is that the fire comes out of the wood and consumes the wood finally. And it is the same with poetry: it comes out of words and consumes the words finally. Only silence is left, but not a dead silence – a singing silence, a silence with the throb of life, a silence full of music and harmony.

Knowing this – that words are inadequate – become a poet, become a painter, because these are the ways to say without words. Become a musician, because music is the ultimate in saying things without words. The other way is: become silent, don’t say anything. But that is very uncreative. The east has chosen that and suffered much.

If one feels that there is no possibility of being positive, then it is okay, but first try. If you think words are foolish – and they are – then only these two alternatives are left: either keep quiet, don’t say a thing, or say things knowing well that words are inadequate so they should not be taken very seriously. They should be used as a vehicle – as fingers pointing towards the moon. That’s what poetry is… and I am in immense love with poetry. Become a poet!

Source – Osho Book “Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There”

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