Wednesday, September 19, 2007

sound pleases, sense sustains

A Kindergarten competency that states a child should be able to recite the alphabet without singing it seems a bit unnatural. Why take the music out of language? It's the sound of things and not just the sense. I remember thirteen years ago reading John Berryman's Dream Songs and not worrying about my lack of comprehension because Berryman's sounds satisfied me.

That said, there is an ethical danger in "only listening to the tune"--what's more insidious than stirring music with hateful lyrics? George Orwell's contention applies: " . . . even the best wall in the world deserves to be pulled down if it surrounds a concentration camp."


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