She began to whisper something in my ear. It’s the strangest thing about poetry – you can tell it’s poetry, even if you don’t speak the language. You can hear Homer’s Greek without understanding a word, and you still know it’s poetry. I’ve heard Polish poetry, Inuit poetry, and I knew what it was without knowing. Her whisper was like that. I didn’t know the language, but her word washed through me, perfect, and in my mind’s eye I saw towers of glass and diamond; and people with eyes of the palest green; and, unstoppable, beneath every syllable, I could feel the relentless advance of the ocean.
– Neil Gaiman (from Fragile Things‘ short story “How To Talk To Girls At Parties”)