from “The Poet” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 12.20.30 PMThe poets made all the words, and therefore language is the archives of history, and, if we must say it, a sort of tomb of the muses. For, though the origin of most of our words is forgotten, each word was at first a stroke of genius, and obtained currency, because for the moment it symbolized the world to the first speaker and to the hearer. The etymologist finds the deadest word to have been once a brilliant picture. Language is fossil poetry. —Ralph Waldo Emerson