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… I learned my first hundred or three hundreds words in that language—fire, river, resin, rust, life, copper, fish, bread, wine, site, salt, garlic, honey, song, vision, rain, bird, history, drinkable, discourse, barley, poet, laughter, belief, now, undrinkable, then, gods, treaty, nation, change, grain, cricket, necessity, mountain, astonish, commander, beauty, thunder, all, hear, steersman, nothing, love, freeman, pain, water, good, wet, weep, slave, night, tomorrow, suffer, justice, moon, rest, sorrow, up, down, no, yes, sun, tree, branch, head, hand, clitoris, earth, body, jar, breast, bad, wisdom, city, road, root, cattle, common, dawn, tomb, none, day, when, urine, measure, gold, horse, create, deathless, shit, experience, laughter, destroy, eternal, opposite, glad, on-the-one-hand, shield, on-the-other, wasp, finger, penis, people, eye, peace, battle journey, pleasure, exchange, strife, star, foot, sleep, sand, rectum, remain, mud, and death—the ocean of ideas and sounds from which the learning of the language itself lifted, like a wave over sand and shells and sea grass, flooding confusion with comprehension, and upon which my name was the merest foam.

Samuel R. Delany 
Added a year ago by Bryce Wilner
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