matt's poetry pocketbook:
poems and poets

Roland Barthes

When I buy colours, it is by the mere sight of their name. The name of the colour (Indian yellow, Persian red, celadon green) outlines a kind of generic region within which the exact, special effect of the colour is unforeseeable; the name is then the promise of a pleasure, the program of an operation: there is always a certain future in the complete names.  Similarly, when I say that a word is beautiful, when I use it because I like it, it is never by virtue of its sonorous charm or of the originality of meaning, or of a "poetic" combination of the two.  The word transports me because of the notion that I am going to do something with it: it is the thrill of a future praxis, something like an appetite.  This desire makes the entire motionless chart of language vibrate.

from Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes translated by Richard Howard