The Story Is Not The Story – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

dVerse Poets – Open Link Night



“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” G.K. Chesterton

The Story Is Not The Story

And to think that I was so accusing
that you were in fact listening
the whole time and
able to regurgitate the whole
of my conversation
line by line verbatim,
you really listened,
and yet you didn’t hear at all,
you didn’t hear the story
within the story, for the
story is not the story,
the story is merely the
carrier of the story within
the story.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under life, poem, relationship

46 responses to “The Story Is Not The Story – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Ah yes, those cryptic conversations 😔 Beautifully and accurately said Paul.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Must be a man (not) listening to a woman.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. So accurately described the difference between hearing and listening.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The traps of communication – every couple can relate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my….you’ve described a truism here. When I was earning my first MA in communication, I actually took a course in the Art of Listening. When I shared that fact with folks, they chuckled and wondered what in the word you could do for an entire semester…just sit there and “listen” ????
    Your poem made me smile thinking of my favorite professor who taught that course….and later in life, became a surrogate father to me and surrogate grandfather to our children. He was a gentle soul….perhaps that is a necessity too for one who listens and hears. So much to the story as we speak….

    Liked by 3 people

    • I did some electives in communication theory, I was, as a callow youth, amazed and I learned so much. Thank you Lillian. Your professor clearly listened very well to you, he listened past the words. What a precious friend.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Sometimes, if not often, the story is in the unsaid. For some, that kind of dialogue is difficult to grasp.

    Love this one , Paul.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, the presenting story is merely the carrier of the story, often told in feelings, or body language, among many nonverbals. It is very difficult for some, as I’ve experienced them missing the mark.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Bev

    To hear the unsaid story is a gift! Your words are evocative.


  8. Interesting perspective on stories. The real story is tacit, implicit, inside the explicit story being told.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ‘Tis the difference between listening with one’s mind, or listening with one’s heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. reading between the lines can be tricky even for those who know each other well … too open to interpretation

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I just met an artist who has the last name Carrier and he speaks in code… like this poem suggests! Brilliant!


  12. Listening is the true art of hearing the real story… not the story being told.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I had the experience today of realizing that I had not heard the story within the story when I should have. I must have been meant to read your poem a day late.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The unsaid is as important as the said sometimes. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I understand this type of conversation. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen prey to doing this myself. Sometimes we listen but we don’t at the same time. What someone says penetrates our minds but not our hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great ekphrastic poem. And great poem about the consequences of not remaining present, of not engaging. Reading between the lines I’d say this relationship is doomed.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. lync56

    Very true


    Liked by 1 person

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