The unknown

How can we live without the unknown before us?

René Char

The unknown, of which the poet speaks, is not the opposite of the known, but what is unknown yet not-known, neither awaiting knowledge nor dwelling in non-knowledge, coming neither before nor after knowing, and what neither saying nor silence can point out. The poem indicates the unapproachable for which language has no word, the inexpressible, what has neither a name nor a time, without becoming the nameless or the timeless, but the historical that refuses by undoing every reference to us. The placeless, despite being before us, despite being beyond us. A word opening up the poem by closing itself off, the unknown.  

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