As young children, we listen to adults talking before we understand what they’re saying. And that’s, after all, where we start — we start in a position of not getting it. It’s true of listening to music, too. The emotional impact of music is so incommensurate with what people can say about it, and that seems to be very illustrative of something fundamental — that very powerful emotional effects often can’t be articulated. You know something’s happened to you, but you don’t know what it is. You’ll find yourself going back to certain poems again and again. After all, they are only words on a page, but you go back because something that really matters to you is evoked in you by the words. And if somebody said to you, Well, what is it? or What do your favorite poems mean?, you may well be able to answer it, if you’ve been educated in a certain way, but I think you’ll feel the gap between what you are able to say and why you go on reading.

— Paul Holdengräber, Adam Phillips, The Art of Nonfiction No. 7 (via)