Song is the precious addition to a blank message, entirely contained within its address, for what I give by singing is at once my body (by my voice) and the silence into which you cast that body. (Love is mute, Novalis says; only poetry makes it speak.) Song means nothing: it is in this that you will understand at last what it is that I give you; as useless as the wisp of yarn, the pebble held out to his mother by the child.

Roland Barthes: A Lover’s Discourse; Fragments tr. Richard Howard Hill and Wang, NY 1978