First and last lines from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus

by Colin Pink

“The world is all that is the case.”
This is what the philosopher said.
And, after all, he should know.
I have the case still; ‘though now
I keep it in the attic, gathering mould.
The hinges are rusted, the leather torn
and stained. Time has not been
kind to it, and neither have I.
Sometimes I think I should open it again,
take another look at the contents.
But not tonight, no, not tonight.

* * *

“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
Yes, I agree.
What more can I say?
But it is harder than you think.
The silence.
The silence, of which you speak, is itself eloquent.
Says more,
than any form of words could accomplish.
Maybe that is what you meant all along.
Tell me: was it?

© Colin Pink 2014

Colin Pink studied philosophy at Southampton University and Birkbeck College, London. His play Defining Dawn was recently staged in London. For more information go to


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