Symbolon

“The English world ‘symbol’ is the Greek word symbolon which means, in the ancient world, one half of a knucklebone carried as a token of identity to someone who has the other half. Together the two halves compose one meaning. A metaphor is a species of symbol. So is a lover.”

–Anne Carson

“Each one of us is but the symbolon of a human being—sliced in half like a flatfish, two instead of one —and each pursues a neverending search for the symbolon of himself.”

–Aristophones in Plato’s Symposium

[See Edward Hirsch, How to Read a Poem and Fall In Love with Poetry, pg 260.]

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