Quiet is difficult to find most days. We can schedule it, we crave it, and must be purposeful in our quest for peace and order. Even my dog is a heavy breather, so when she sleeps sideways in her bed, I can still hear her in the next room.
This poem makes a good case for silence. What seems absurd at first read—limiting our speech to 167 words per day—is actually a compelling idea. What would we say if we had less than 200 words to say it in? It would force us to think before we speak, become calculated, thoughtful, and only focus on that which is the most important. By the end of the poem, we find two lovers that have used all their words, and can do nothing but listen to each other breathe. This poem reminds us of what can still be said in the silences, and how just existing next to one another, we communicate in a deeply intimate way without uttering a single word.