Voices

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Alexis Joyner
English Composition 2
Dr. Shirokova
Voices Essay

An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic (concise) and memorable form (Bartholomae). My first impression of aphorisms was that they were a bunch of sentences that had meaning to them. As I did more and more research on aphorisms, I came to the conclusion that you can use an aphorism as a form of inspiration in your everyday life. People use aphorisms every day and don’t even realize it. Some examples are “Do unto other as you would have them do unto you “and “He who laughs last, laughs first”. Those are some aphorisms that we say to people every day not thinking that those statements are aphorism. In this essay, I will write about Antonio Porchia’s aphorism which inspires one and others in our everyday life. Antonio Porchia (1885-1968) was born in Conflentli Italy, where he lived until 1902. His book “Voices” was one of the first books about aphorisms. Its first publication was in a small left-wing newspaper in, La Fragua (The Forge). The collection of aphorisms attracted a little attention until 1949 when Roger Callus translated Porchia’s work into French. As an author, Voices is Porchia’s only published work, and it was eventually translated into English by W.S. Merwin in 1969. Out of 600 aphorisms, he selected 250 since the published addition in 1943 (Batholomae). When I read Porchia’s aphorisms, I saw them as uncompleted sentences at first. But as I read deeper in the context of the writing, they became more of short sentences with strong meaning that can be applied to our everyday lives. When I read those aphorisms, they either give me an inspiration or have me think deeply about certain situations in life. For example, one of Porchia’s aphorisms is “One lives in hope of becoming a memory”. When I think about that aphorism as a whole, it puts me in the mind of people in general. Everyone wants to have a purpose in life and reach high goals. So when you pass...
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