Thursday, 7 July 2005

To 'flow', 'lilt', 'tune' and other precious things

Sarojini Naidu: Palanquin-Bearers

Lightly, O lightly we bear her along,
She sways like a flower in the wind of our song;
She skims like a bird on the foam of a stream,
She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream.
Gaily, O gaily we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

Softly, O softly we bear her along,
She hangs like a star in the dew of our song;
She springs like a beam on the brow of the tide,
She falls like a tear from the eyes of a bride.
Lightly, O lightly we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

That something so prosaic and mathematical as symbols representing sounds can be arranged into patterns that carry meaning quite independent of the specific interpretations of the symbols themselves, that there exist certain forms and structures that strike a chord within the beholder which is independent of the function/meaning associated with them, that this effect is remarkably universal in nature and transcends race, background and age, surely, surely in these degenerate, disturbed times these things should tell us something about ourselves and our place in the loose but omnipresent structure of our splendidly exasperating species.

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