Friday, April 14, 2017

language and us

The Word

In the Beginning there was the Word,
In the End we can lose the Word,
and we can be lost inside our consciousness,

as I watch my grandchildren 
come into themselves
and learn to use language,
I am struck with how language uses them, also,
how the inchoate thought finds definition
by the choices language imposes,

no longer do I see the infant
as having the thought 
and then finding the words to express it,
rather I see the infant as driven 
by impulse and the need to understand
and then the language 
orders the thoughts and feelings into coherence,
words not just the tool the wielder chooses 
to use to express what’s already there,
but the word somehow a partner in shaping thought and feeling,

I understand that J.R.R. Tolkien
first imagined the Elvin language into existence,
and out of that imagining Middle Earth, 
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion,
were imagined, were created into existence,

how powerful the Word:
much of who we are is shaped by our language.

by Henry H. Walker

April 14, ‘17

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