Language Of Music Quotes

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Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
Music is the universal language of mankind.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.
Kahlil Gibran
He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
I don't like my language watered down, I don't like my edges rounded off.
Ani DiFranco
Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.
Keith Richards (According to the Rolling Stones)
Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.
Jimmy Carter
Dancing is creating a sculpture that is visible only for a moment.
Erol Ozan
Let the music speak to us of tonight, in a happier language than our own.
Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White)
An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.
Edith Wharton
Most people write me off when they see me. They do not know my story. They say I am just an African. They judge me before they get to know me. What they do not know is The pride I have in the blood that runs through my veins; The pride I have in my rich culture and the history of my people; The pride I have in my strong family ties and the deep connection to my community; The pride I have in the African music, African art, and African dance; The pride I have in my name and the meaning behind it. Just as my name has meaning, I too will live my life with meaning. So you think I am nothing? Don’t worry about what I am now, For what I will be, I am gradually becoming. I will raise my head high wherever I go Because of my African pride, And nobody will take that away from me.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for all Africans: How Every African Can Live the Life of Their Dreams)
To write is to forget. Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life. Music soothes, the visual arts exhilarates, the performing arts (such as acting and dance) entertain. Literature, however, retreats from life by turning in into slumber. The other arts make no such retreat— some because they use visible and hence vital formulas, others because they live from human life itself. This isn't the case with literature. Literature simulates life. A novel is a story of what never was, a play is a novel without narration. A poem is the expression of ideas or feelings a language no one uses, because no one talks in verse.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Music at its best...is the grand archeology into and transfiguration of our guttural cry, the great human effort to grasp in time our deepest passions and yearnings as prisoners of time. Profound music leads us--beyond language--to the dark roots of our scream and the celestial heights of our silence.
Cornel West (The Cornel West Reader)
Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.
John Erskine
Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Even though we can't communicate using the same language, we use music instead.
Kim Jonghyun
...for music alone can abolish differences of language or culture between two people and invoke something indestructible within them.
Irène Némirovsky (Suite Française)
You can just enjoy music without understanding it, muusic is a universal language.
Cl 2ne1
Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through Music.
Martin Luther
I think music is what language once aspired to be. Music allows us to face God on our own terms because it reaches beyond life.
Simon Van Booy
In the 1950s kids lost their innocence. They were liberated from their parents by well-paying jobs, cars, and lyrics in music that gave rise to a new term ---the generation gap. In the 1960s, kids lost their authority. It was a decade of protest---church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it. In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self. Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion....It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference. In the 1980s, kids lost their hope. Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future. In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason. Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world. In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination. Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore.
Ravi Zacharias (Recapture the Wonder)
Every life has a soundtrack. There is a tune that makes me think of the summer I spent rubbing baby oil on my stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. There's another that reminds me of tagging along with my father on Sunday morning to pick up the New York Times. There's the song that reminds me of using fake ID to get into a nightclub; and the one that brings back my cousin Isobel's sweet sixteen, where I played Seven Minutes in Heaven with a boy whose breath smelled like tomato soup. If you ask me, music is the language of memory.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
[T]he truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
Living alone,' November whispered, 'is a skill, like running long distance or programming old computers. You have to know parameters, protocols. You have to learn them so well that they become like a language: to have music always so that the silence doesn't overwhelm you, to perform your work exquisitely well so that your time is filled. You have to allow yourself to open up until you are the exact size of the place you live, no more or else you get restless. No less, or else you drown. There are rules; there are ways of being and not being.
Catherynne M. Valente (Palimpsest)
Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed how deeply it moves our souls
David O. McKay
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
Rule #1: You may bring only what fits in your backpack. Don’t try to fake it with a purse or a carry-on. Rule #2: You may not bring guidebooks, phrase books, or any kind of foreign language aid. And no journals. Rule #3: You cannot bring extra money or credit/debit cards, travelers’ checks, etc. I’ll take care of all that. Rule #4: No electronic crutches. This means no laptop, no cell phone, no music, and no camera. You can’t call home or communicate with people in the U.S. by Internet or telephone. Postcards and letters are acceptable and encouraged. That’s all you need to know for now.
Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1))
Music does not have a race or a disposition! Every instrument has a voice that contributes. Music is a universal language. A universal religion of sorts. Certainly it's my religion. Music surpasses all distinctions between people" -Father
Pam Muñoz Ryan (Echo)
Dont speak of tomorrow.Let the music speak to us tonight,in a happier language than ours.
Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White)
A BIRTHDAY Something continues and I don't know what to call it though the language is full of suggestions in the way of language but they are all anonymous and it's almost your birthday music next to my bones these nights we hear the horses running in the rain it stops and the moon comes out and we are still here the leaks in the roof go on dripping after the rain has passed smell of ginger flowers slips through the dark house down near the sea the slow heart of the beacon flashes the long way to you is still tied to me but it brought me to you I keep wanting to give you what is already yours it is the morning of the mornings together breath of summer oh my found one the sleep in the same current and each waking to you when I open my eyes you are what I wanted to see.
W.S. Merwin
For better or for worse, music is the language of memory. It is also the language of love.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.
Stevie Wonder
Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.
John Denver
A Thirsty Fish I don't get tired of you. Don't grow weary of being compassionate toward me! All this thirst equipment must surely be tired of me, the waterjar, the water carrier. I have a thirsty fish in me that can never find enough of what it's thirsty for! Show me the way to the ocean! Break these half-measures, these small containers. All this fantasy and grief. Let my house be drowned in the wave that rose last night in the courtyard hidden in the center of my chest. Joseph fell like the moon into my well. The harvest I expected was washed away. But no matter. A fire has risen above my tombstone hat. I don't want learning, or dignity, or respectability. I want this music and this dawn and the warmth of your cheek against mine. The grief-armies assemble, but I'm not going with them. This is how it always is when I finish a poem. A great silence comes over me, and I wonder why I ever thought to use language.
Rumi
Dance less in motion and more in spirit; awaken the dreamer within.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Music is the universal language no matter the country we are born in or the color of our skin. Bring us all together
Justin Bieber (First Step 2 Forever)
Music is a second language to my heart.
Mara Arps
But Jace", Clary said. "Valentine taught him more than just fighting. He taught him languages, and how to play the piano" "That was Jocelyn's influence." Sebastian said her name unwillingly, as if he hated the sound of it. "She thought Valentine ought to be able to talk about books, art, music...not just killing things. He passed that on to Jace." A wrought iron blue gate rose to their left. Sebastian ducked under it and beckoned Clary to follow him. She didn't have to duck but went after him, her hands stuffed into her pockets. "What about you?" she asked. He held up his hands. They were unmistakably her mother's hands - dexterous, long-fingered, meant for holding a brush or a pen. "I learned to play the instruments of war, " he said, "and paint in blood. I am not like Jace.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
How can you understand the language of music, if you will not be an instrument?”—Zarost
Greg Hamerton (Second Sight (Tales of the Lifesong, #2))
Besides language and music mathematics is one of the primary manifestations of the free creative power of the human mind.
Hermann Weyl
LANGUAGE, n. The music with which we charm the serpents guarding another's treasure.
Ambrose Bierce
SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book, The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong. Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; 'I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work,' And helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the dead, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.
W.H. Auden (Another Time)
Music is the unspoken language that can convey feelings more accurately than talking ever could.
Elizabeth Smart (My Story)
Language is important: it shapes minds, it can include, exclude, incite, hurt and destroy. If language isn’t powerful, why not call your teacher a cunt?
Viv Albertine (Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.: A Memoir)
It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now. We're on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers, compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins!
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
Spent the fortnight gone in the music room reworking my year's fragments into a 'sextet for overlapping soloists': piano, clarinet, 'cello, flute, oboe, and violin, each in its own language of key, scale, and color. In the first set, each solo is interrupted by its successor; in the second, each interruption is recontinued, in order. Revolutionary or gimmicky? Shan't know until it's finished, and by then it'll be too late.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Music is the last true voice of the human spirit. It can go beyond language, beyond age, and beyond color straight to the mind and heart of all people.
Ben Harper
Music is a language - and language, at its finest, should be music.
T.L. Rese
...boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson in your life--...the lesson of your utter insignificance. It is valuable to you, as well as to those you are to rub shoulders with. 'You are finite,' time tells you in a voice of boredom, 'and whatever you do is, from my point of view, futile.' As music to your ears, this, of course, may not count; yet the sense of futility, of limited significance even of your best, most ardent actions is better than the illusion of their consequence and the attendant self-satisfaction.
Joseph Brodsky (On Grief and Reason: Essays)
Even, she thought, even without the gift of witchsight, there was more beauty to be found in the world than could ever be snared in language or music. And with the sight...
Charles de Lint
The English language on her tongue became a smoke-screen, without her eyes changing expression in the least.
Pat Conroy (Beach Music)
Music is the soul of language.
Max Heindel
Music does not need language of words for it has movements of dance to do its translation.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Because Music is a language that lives in the spiritual realms, we can hear it, we can notate it and create it, but we cannot hold it in our hands
Joy Harjo
Film is one if three universal languages, the other two: mathematics and music.
Frank Capra
I need a little language such as lovers use, words of one syllable such as children speak when they come into the room and find their mother sewing and pick up some scrap of bright wool, a feather, or a shred of chintz. I need a howl; a cry. When the storm crosses the marsh and sweeps over me where I lie in the ditch unregarded I need no words. Nothing neat. Nothing that comes down with all its feet on the floor. None of those resonances and lovely echoes that break and chime from nerve to nerve in our breasts making wild music, false phrases. I have done with phrases.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
Words performed through music can express what language alone had exhausted
Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Music is in the connection of human souls, speaking a language that needs no words. Everyone joins a band in this life. And what you play always affects someone. Sometimes, it affects the world. Frankie’s
Mitch Albom (The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto)
There is language going on out there- the language of the wild. Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops, and chirps all have meaning derived over eons of expression... We have yet to become fluent in the language -and music- of the wild.
Boyd Norton (Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning)
Its language is a language which the soul alone understands, but which the soul can never translate.
Arnold Bennett
There was a language specific to all things. The ability to learn another language in one arena, whether it was music, medicine, or finance, could be used to accelerate learning and other arenas, too.
Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness)
We know from our recent history that English did not come to replace U.S. Indian languages merely because English sounded musical to Indians' ears. Instead, the replacement entailed English-speaking immigrants' killing most Indians by war, murder, and introduced diseases, and the surviving Indians' being pressured into adopting English, the new majority language.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies)
Dance resides within us all. Some find it when joy conquers sorrow, others express it through celebration of movements; and then there are those... whose existence is dance,
Shah Asad Rizvi
Music is the language of memory
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
The vibrations on the air are the breath of God speaking to man's soul. Music is the language of God. We musicians are as close to God as man can be. We hear his voice, we read his lips, we give birth to the children of God, who sing his praise. That's what musicians are.
Stephen J. Rivele
We never even kissed or looked into each other's eyes. Our lips just trespassed on those inner labyrinths hidden deep within our ears, filled them with the private music of wicked words, hers in many languages, mine in the off color of my only tongue, until as our tones shifted, and our consonants spun and squealed, rattled faster, hesitated, raced harder, syllables soon melting with groans, or moans finding purchase in new words, or old words, or made-up words, until we gathered up our heat and refused to release it, enjoying too much the dark language we had suddenly stumbled upon, craved to, carved to, not a communication really but a channeling of our rumored desires, hers for all I know gone to Black Forests and wolves, mine banging back to a familiar form, that great revenant mystery I still could only hear the shape of, which in spite of our separate lusts and individual cries still continued to drive us deeper into stranger tones, our mutual desire to keep gripping the burn fueled by sound.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Gamache enjoyed going to churches for their music and the beauty of the language and the stillness. But he felt closer to God in his Volvo.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1))
Music is the universal language, because it is the language of the universe.
Charles F. Glassman (Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life)
If you ask me, music is the language of memory
Jodi Picoult
Soar like an eagle beyond skies of heavens reach; as wings of dreams dance with winds of reality.
Shah Asad Rizvi
I wondered whether music might not be the unique example of what might have been - if the invention of language, the formation of words, the analysis of ideas had not intervened - the means of communication between souls.
Marcel Proust (The Captive / The Fugitive (In Search of Lost Time, #5-6))
Poems are the music of our childhoods
Suzy Davies
Sometimes language can't even read the music of meaning.
David Mitchell (Ghostwritten)
Like all other music, it breathed passion and pathos, and emotions high or tender, in a tongue native to the human heart, wherever educated.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish.
Confucius (The Analects)
[On Chopin's Preludes:] "His genius was filled with the mysterious sounds of nature, but transformed into sublime equivalents in musical thought, and not through slavish imitation of the actual external sounds. His composition of that night was surely filled with raindrops, resounding clearly on the tiles of the Charterhouse, but it had been transformed in his imagination and in his song into tears falling upon his heart from the sky. ... The gift of Chopin is [the expression of] the deepest and fullest feelings and emotions that have ever existed. He made a single instrument speak a language of infinity. He could often sum up, in ten lines that a child could play, poems of a boundless exaltation, dramas of unequalled power.
George Sand (Story of My Life: The Autobiography of George Sand)
It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "How young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are." "All young ladies accomplished? My dear Charles, what do you mean?" "Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time without being informed that she was very accomplished." "Your list of the common extent of accomplishments," said Darcy, "has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished." "Nor I, I am sure." said Miss Bingley. "Then," observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman." "Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it." "Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can really be esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved." "All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." "I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder at your knowing any.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
The Ache That Would Not Leave Behind the hum and routine of daily living, there lay a persistent and wild longing for something she could not easily put into words. It felt like impulsive adventures and watching the sun rise over unfamiliar mountains, or coffee in a street café, set to the background music of a foreign language. It was the smell of the ocean, with dizzying seagulls whirling in a cobalt sky; exotic foods and strange faces, in a city where no one knew her name. She wanted secrets whispered at midnight, and road trips without a map, but most of all, she ached for someone who desired to explore the mysteries that lay sleeping within her. The truly heartbreaking part was that she could feel the remaining days of her life falling away, like leaves from an autumn tree, but still this mysterious person who held the key to unlock her secrets did not arrive; they were missing, and she knew not where to find them.
John Mark Green
Music is the Universal Language that allows all people to communicate with each other.
Ellen J. Barrier
When the melody plays, footsteps move, heart sings and spirit begin to dance.
Shah Asad Rizvi
if music was the language of the world, imagine how beautiful a seven-billion-part harmony would be.
scott hoying
Language is texture of images and music. We speak in images and rhythm, by taking help of words
Suman Pokhrel
to become aware of the ineffable is to part company with words...the tangent to the curve of human experience lies beyond the limits of language. the world of things we perceive is but a veil. It’s flutter is music, its ornament science, but what it conceals is inscrutable. It’s silence remains unbroken; no words can carry it away. Sometimes we wish the world could cry and tell us about that which made it pregnant with fear--filling grandeur. Sometimes we wish our own heart would speak of that which made it heavy with wonder.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Author's Prayer If I speak for the dead, I must leave this animal of my body, I must write the same poem over and over for the empty page is a white flag of their surrender. If I speak of them, I must walk on the edge of myself, I must live as a blind man who runs through the rooms without touching the furniture. Yes, I live. I can cross the streets asking "What year is it?" I can dance in my sleep and laugh in front of the mirror. Even sleep is a prayer, Lord, I will praise your madness, and in a language not mine, speak of music that wakes us, music in which we move. For whatever I say is a kind of petition and the darkest days must I praise.
Ilya Kaminsky (Dancing in Odessa)
I will praise your madness, and in a language not mine, speak of music that wakes us, music in which we move. For whatever I say is a kind of petition, and the darkest days must I praise.
Ilya Kaminsky (Dancing in Odessa)
Codes and patterns are very different from each other,” Langdon said. “And a lot of people confuse the two. In my field, it’s crucial to understand their fundamental difference.” “That being?” Langdon stopped walking and turned to her. “A pattern is any distinctly organized sequence. Patterns occur everywhere in nature—the spiraling seeds of a sunflower, the hexagonal cells of a honeycomb, the circular ripples on a pond when a fish jumps, et cetera.” “Okay. And codes?” “Codes are special,” Langdon said, his tone rising. “Codes, by definition, must carry information. They must do more than simply form a pattern—codes must transmit data and convey meaning. Examples of codes include written language, musical notation, mathematical equations, computer language, and even simple symbols like the crucifix. All of these examples can transmit meaning or information in a way that spiraling sunflowers cannot.
Dan Brown (Origin (Robert Langdon, #5))
If music is the universal language, then awkward is the universal feeling.
Michael McCreary (Funny, You Don't Look Autistic: A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum)
In the nineteenth century, poetry was a bestselling genre rather than the cultish phenomenon it is now.
John McWhorter (Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care)
Music is a language that requires no language.
Christian Ocampo
Music is a language that speaks to people emotions.
The Unknown
Anything was better than music, for music alone can abolish differences of language or culture between two people and evoke something indestructible within them.
Irène Némirovsky (Suite Française)
In living organisms, nucleic acid molecules are the only indefinite hereditary replicators, or at least they were until the invention of language and music.
John Maynard Smith (The Major Transitions in Evolution)
We black Southerners, through life, love, and labor, are the generators and architects of American music, narrative, language, capital, and morality. That belongs to us. Take away all those stolen West African girls and boys forced to find an oral culture to express, resist, and signify in the South, and we have no rich American idiom.
Kiese Laymon (How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America)
The Indians are the Italians of Asia", Didier pronounced with a sage and mischievous grin. "It can be said, certainly, with equal justice, that the Italians are the Indians of Europe, but you do understand me, I think. There is so much Italian in the Indians, and so much Indians in the Italians. They are both people of the Madonna - they demand a goddess, even if the religion does not provide one. Every man in both countries is a singer when he is happy, and every woman is a dancer when she walks to the shop at the corner. For them, food is music inside the body, and music is food inside the heart. The Language of India and the language of Italy, they make every man a poet, and make something beautiful from every banalite. They are nations where love - amore, pyaar - makes a cavalier of a Borsalino on a street corner, and makes a princess of a peasant girl, if only for the second that her eyes meet yours.
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
I know your head aches. I know you're tired. I know your nerves are as raw as meat in a butcher's window. But think what you're trying to accomplish - just think what you're dealing with. The majesty and grandeur of the English language; it's the greatest possession we have. The noblest thoughts that ever flowed through the hearts of men are contained in its extraordinary, imaginative and musical mixtures of sounds. And that's what you've set yourself out to conquer, Eliza. And conquer it you will.
George Bernard Shaw (My Fair Lady)
Whereas the truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes over flow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner)
Music happens to be an art form that transcends language
Herbie Hancock
Poetry is the language of the soul; Poetic Prose, the language of my heart. Each line must flow as in a song, and strike a chord that rings forever. To me, words are music!
Lori R. Lopez
For all but the sliver of poetry fans, over the past forty years popular song lyrics have been the nation’s poetry.
John McWhorter (Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care)
Music begins where the possibilities of language end
Jean Sibelius
There was a time when the Bengali language was an angry flood trying to break down her door. She would crawl into a closet and lock herself in, stuffing her ears to shut out those sounds. But a door was no defense against her parents' voices: it was in that language that they fought, and the sounds of their quarrels would always find ways of trickling in under the door and thorugh the cracks, the level rising until she thought she would drown in the flood...The accumulated resentsmnets of their life were always phrased in the language, so that for her its sound had come to represent the music of unhappiness.
Amitav Ghosh (The Hungry Tide)
Does poetry - or language or philosophy or music or architecture, even that of our temples - really need to dance to the same tune as our political beliefs or our religious convictions? Is the strict harmony of our cultural identities a virtue to be valued above others that may come from the accommodation of contradictions?
María Rosa Menocal (The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain)
The point was that the world of music—its language, beauty, and mystery—was already urging itself on me. Some shift had already begun. Music was no longer a metaphor for the real world somewhere out there. It was becoming the opposite. The “out there” stuff was the metaphor and the real part was, and is to this day, the music.
Philip Glass (Words Without Music: A Memoir)
German is a much more precise language than English. Americans throw the word love around for everything: I love my wife! I love all my friends! I love rock music! I love the rain! I love comic books! I love peanut butter! The word you use to describe your feelings for your wife should not be the same word you use to describe your feelings for peanut butter. In German, there are a dozen different words that describe varying degrees of liking something a lot. Germans almost never use the word love, unless they mean a deep romantic love. I have never told my parents I love them, because it would sound melodramatic, inappropriate, and almost incestuous. In German, you tell your mother that you hold her very dear, not that you are in love with her.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - The Heroin Scene in Fort Myers (How the Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began #2))
I don't know what that means. To truly live." "To find work that you love, and work harder than other men. To learn the languages of the earth, and love the sounds of the words and the things they describe. To love food and music and drink. Fully love them. To love weather, and storms, and the smell of rain. To love heat. To love cold. To love sleep and dreams. To love the newness of each day.
Pete Hamill (Forever)
Music is the language of all. It tames the savage beast and allows us to get over heartbreak. It helps us express what we really want to say and it has the power to lift hearts and awaken our souls….
James A. Murphy (The Waves of Life Quotes and Daily Meditations)
Each asana is like a sound or letter in an alphabet. Every letter in an alphabet produces a unique sound vibration. Each asana vibrates at a specific frequency. When asanas are performed in sequence, beautiful phrases or sutras result, producing a mystical language.
Sharon Gannon (The Art of Yoga)
Music is another language, one so close to actual thought, strung together, sometimes staccato, flowing, and sometimes even nonsensical or harsh to the ears. It’s truth in an otherwise dishonest world.
Moryah DeMott (Timeless: A Novel)
The other that will guide you and itself through this dissolution is a rhythm, text, music, and within language, a text. But what is the connection that holds you both together? Counter-desire, the negative of desire, inside-out desire, capable of questioning (or provoking) its own infinite quest. Romantic, filial, adolescent, exclusive, blind and Oedipal: it is all that, but for others. It returns to where you are, both of you, disappointed, irritated, ambitious, in love with history, critical, on the edge and even in the midst of its own identity crisis; a crisis of enunciation and of the interdependence of its movements, an instinctual drive that descends in waves, tearing apart the symbolic thesis.
Julia Kristeva (Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art)
She is suspicious of words. She lives by her senses, by her intuition. We don’t have a language for the senses. Feelings are images, sensations are like musical sounds. How are you going to tell about them?
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
And I love Jane Austen's use of language too--the way she takes her time to develop a phrase and gives it room to grow, so that these clever, complex statements form slowly and then bloom in my mind. Beethoven does the same thing with his cadence and phrasing and structure. It's a fact: Jane Austen is musical. And so's Yeats. And Wordsworth. All the great writers are musical.
Andrew Clements (Things Hoped For (Things, #2))
What in life can love not penetrate? Mabel Hubbard, deaf since childhood, gave Alexander Bell a piano as a wedding gift and asked that he play it for her every day, as if his music could pierce her silence. Decades later, at Bell’s deathbed, it was his wife who made the sounds, saying the words, “Don’t leave me,” while he, no longer able to talk, used sign language to answer, No.
Mitch Albom (The First Phone Call from Heaven)
It was made clear to me that Music is related to everything, especially nature and language, but in order to speak it naturally, I had to first make myself a part of it.
Victor L. Wooten (The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music)
We start our lives with blues . . . with music. It's our first language. It's the rhythm of the womb. It's your mama's heartbeat inside your head.
David Mutti Clark (Professor Brown Shoes Teaches the Blues)
Music is the language of the heart, the language of the soul, the language of nature and the language of the universe.
Debasish Mridha
Good girls like myself need subversion. Being solemn, I aspire to comedy. Being a novelist, I aspire to the musical. Being organized, I aspire to luminous chaos. Loving the power of grammar and the fine distinctions of language, I seek the part of the mind I didn't know was there, the part 'sheer,' 'no-manfathomed,' 'cliffs of fall.
Janet Burroway
An accomplished woman is one who has a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing and the modern languages; she must be well trained in the fighting styles of the Kyoto masters and the modern tactics and weaponry of Europe.
Seth Grahame-Smith
The healing power of art is not a rhetorical fantasy. Fighting to keep language, language became my sanity and my strength. It still is, and I know of no pain that art cannot assuage. For some, music, for some, pictures, for me, primarily, poetry, whether found in poems or in prose, cuts through noise and hurt, opens the wound to clean it, and then gradually teaches it to heal itself. Wounds need to be taught to heal themselves.
Jeanette Winterson (Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery)
Let us dedicate this new era to mothers around the world, and also to the mother of all mothers -- Mother Earth. It is up to us to keep building bridges to bring the world closer together, and not destroy them to divide us further apart. We can pave new roads towards peace simply by understanding other cultures. This can be achieved through traveling, learning other languages, and interacting with others from outside our borders. Only then will one truly discover how we are more alike than different. Never allow language or cultural traditions to come between brothers and sisters. The same way one brother may not like his sister's choice of fashion or hairstyle, he will never hate her for her personal style or music preference. If you judge a man, judge only his heart. And if you should do so, make sure you use the truth in your conscience when weighing one's character. Do not measure anybody strictly based on the bad you see in them and ignore all the good.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The experience of listening to an hour's music you barely know in a dead language you do not understand is a strange falling and rising experience. For minutes at a time you are walking deep into it, you seem to understand. Then, without knowing how or when exactly, you discover you have wandered away, bored or tired from the effort, and now you are nowhere near the music.
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved." "All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
He loved her in a subtle kind of way. It wasn’t the kind of love you see in movies, with swelling music and giant gestures and running through the streets to catch a departing train. It wasn’t the kind of love that Byron or Shakespeare wrote about, with flowery language and hyperbole and iambic pentameter. It was still and deep, like water that you might mistake for shallow if you just watched the surface. It was entirely his, not dependent on her own feelings for him, and it would still be there whether she, or him, or everyone else on the world disappeared. It was a subtle kind of love, but it was true.
Jake Christie
The late twentieth century has been the locus of a new lurch on English’s time line in America, where oratorical, poetic, and compositional craft of a rigorously exacting nature has been cast to the margins of the culture.
John McWhorter (Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care)
Music is constructed in notes. Language in words. Both are communicating. Music is a language of feeling, the heart. Words are the music of the mind. Theater is their marriage.
Ethan Hawke (A Bright Ray of Darkness)
Music is in the connection of human souls, speaking a language that needs no words.
Mitch Albom (The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto)
I distrust speech therapy. Words are the language of lies and evasions. Music cannot lie. Music talks to the heart.
Alasdair Gray (Lanark)
Life is incomplete without understanding the language of the beauty of the flowers, rocks, fine mountain lines, autumn leaves, clouds, stars and galaxies in the deep sky, music of the early birds, sunshine into the trees, and movements of the butterflies. The extravaganza of nature ignites the light that you have inside.
Amit Ray (Peace Bliss Beauty and Truth: Living with Positivity)
Notes and chords have become my second language and, more often than not, that vocabulary expresses what I feel when language fails me. The guitar is my conscience, too - whenever I've lost my way, it's brought me back to center; whenever I forget, it reminds me why I'm here.
Slash, Anthony Bozza (Slash)
Language can never adequately render the cosmic symbolism of music, because music stands in symbolic relation to the primordial contradiction and primordial pain in the heart of the primal unity, and therefore symbolizes a sphere which is beyond and prior to all phenomena. Rather, all phenomena, compared with it, are merely symbols: hence language, as the organ and symbol of phenomena, can never by any means disclose the innermost heart of music; language, in its attempt to imitate it, can only be in superficial contact with music; while all the eloquence of lyric poetry cannot bring the deepest significance of the latter one step nearer to us.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy)
There is one thing I like about the Poles—their language. Polish, when it is spoken by intelligent people, puts me in ecstasy. The sound of the language evokes strange images in which there is always a greensward of fine spiked grass in which hornets and snakes play a great part. I remember days long back when Stanley would invite me to visit his relatives; he used to make me carry a roll of music because he wanted to show me off to these rich relatives. I remember this atmosphere well because in the presence of these smooth−tongued, overly polite, pretentious and thoroughly false Poles I always felt miserably uncomfortable. But when they spoke to one another, sometimes in French, sometimes in Polish, I sat back and watched them fascinatedly. They made strange Polish grimaces, altogether unlike our relatives who were stupid barbarians at bottom. The Poles were like standing snakes fitted up with collars of hornets. I never knew what they were talking about but it always seemed to me as if they were politely assassinating some one. They were all fitted up with sabres and broad−swords which they held in their teeth or brandished fiercely in a thundering charge. They never swerved from the path but rode rough−shod over women and children, spiking them with long pikes beribboned with blood−red pennants. All this, of course, in the drawing−room over a glass of strong tea, the men in butter−colored gloves, the women dangling their silly lorgnettes. The women were always ravishingly beautiful, the blonde houri type garnered centuries ago during the Crusades. They hissed their long polychromatic words through tiny, sensual mouths whose lips were soft as geraniums. These furious sorties with adders and rose petals made an intoxicating sort of music, a steel−stringed zithery slipper−gibber which could also register anomalous sounds like sobs and falling jets of water.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
Kids use words in ways that release hidden meanings, revel the history buried in sounds. They haven't forgotten that words can be more than signs, that words have magic, the power to be things, to point to themselves and materialize. With their back-formations, archaisms, their tendency to play the music in words--rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, repetition--children peel the skin from language. Words become incantatory. Open Sesame. Abracadabra. Perhaps a child will remember the word and will bring the walls tumbling down.
John Edgar Wideman
I make music for whales, dolphins, ducks, and deaf people. Using only sign language and silence, my songs are meant to swim in your ears using the same power that allows the moon to create the tides.
Jarod Kintz (Music is fluid, and my saxophone overflows when my ducks slosh in the sounds I make in elevators.)
For the last fifty years or so, The Novel’s demise has been broadcast on an almost weekly basis. Yet it strikes me that whatever happens, however else the geography of the imagination might modify in the future in, say, the digital ether, The Novel will continue to survive for some long time to come because it is able to investigate and cherish two things that film, music, painting, dance, architecture, drama, podcasts, cellphone exchanges, and even poetry can’t in a lush, protracted mode. The first is the intricacy and beauty of language—especially the polyphonic qualities of it to which Bakhtin first drew our attention. And the second is human consciousness. What other art form allows one to feel we are entering and inhabiting another mind for hundreds of pages and several weeks on end?
Lance Olsen
Cinema is a language. It can say things—big, abstract things. And I love that about it. I’m not always good with words. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words. But cinema is its own language. And with it you can say so many things, because you’ve got time and sequences. You’ve got dialogue. You’ve got music. You’ve got sound effects. You have so many tools. And you can express a feeling and a thought that can’t be conveyed any other way. Its a magical medium. For me, it’s so beautiful to think about these pictures and sounds flowing together in time and in sequence, making something that can be done only through cinema. Its not just words or music-it’s a whole range of elements coming together and making something that didn’t exist before. It’s telling stories. It’s devising a world, an experience, that people cannot have unless they see that film. When I catch an idea for a film, I fall in love with the way cinema can express it. I like a story that holds abstractions, and that’s what cinema can do.
David Lynch (Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity)
My mom and dad refused to believe that people who had grown up together in peace and friendship, had gone to the same schools, spoken the same language, and listened to the same music, could overnight be blinded by ethnic hatred and start to brutally kill one another. They simply didn't accept as true that less than two years of a multiparty system and competition for power could poison people's brains so much.
Savo Heleta (Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia)
Our sense of what American English is has upended our relationship to articulateness, our approach to writing, and how (and whether) we impart it to the young, our interest in poetry, and our conception of what it is, and even our response to music and how we judge it.
John McWhorter (Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care)
Music does not have a race or a disposition! Every instrument has a voice that contributes. Music is a universal language. A universal religion of sorts. Certainly it's my religion. Music surpasses all distinctions between people
Pam Muñoz Ryan (Echo)
Music really did mean something to him, he realized, and it always had. It called to him, although there were no words to describe what it promised. It was like a secret language he never forgot how to speak, a hometown he could always return to when he tired of what life was throwing at him.
Tad Williams
Lovers find secret places inside this violent world where they make transactions with beauty. Reason says, Nonsense. I have walked and measured the walls here. There are no places like that. Love says, There are. Reason sets up a market and begins doing business. Love has more hidden work. Hallaj steps away from the pulpit and climbs the stairs of the gallows. Lovers feel a truth inside themselves that rational people keep denying. It is reasonable to say, Surrender is just an idea that keeps people from leading their lives. Love responds, No. This thinking is what is dangerous. Using language obscures what Shams came to give. Every day the sun rises out of low word-clouds into burning silence.
Rumi (Bridge to the Soul: Journeys Into the Music and Silence of the Heart)
Music is the secret language that effortlessly connects our bodies, our minds, and our souls. I’m addicted to the lyrics— they speak to me in a way only he and I will understand. So, until it’s safe to speak my mind, I’ll speak to him through lyrics. I’m addicted to him. He’s a song I never want to end.
Hope Alcocer (Where Hope Lies)
These rules, the sign language and grammar of the Game, constitute a kind of highly developed secret language drawing upon several sciences and arts, but especially mathematics and music (and/or musicology), and capable of expressing and establishing interrelationships between the content and conclusions of nearly all scholarly disciplines. The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture; it plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colours on his palette.
Hermann Hesse (The Glass Bead Game)
Now when I was fifteen, oh I knew it was over The road to enchantment was not mine to take Cause lower calf, upper arm should be half what they are I was breaking the laws that the signmakers made. And all I could eat was the poisonous apple And that's not a story I was meant to survive I was all out of choices, but the woman of voices She turned round the corner with music around her, She gave me the language that keeps me alive
Dar Williams
I wanted to see everything. It was around the time I acquired language, or even before that time, when something happened that changed my relationship to the spin of the world. My concept of language, of what was possible with music was changed by this revelatory moment. It changed even the way I look at the sun.
Joy Harjo (Suspended)
Keep creating new chapters in your personal book and never stop re-inventing and perfecting yourself. Try new things. Pick up new hobbies and books. Travel and explore other cultures. Never stay in the same city or state for more than five years of your life. There are many heavens on earth waiting for you to discover. Seek out people with beautiful hearts and minds, not those with just beautiful style and bodies. The first kind will forever remain beautiful to you, while the other will grow stale and ugly. Learn a new language at least twice. Change your career at least thrice, and change your location often. Like all creatures in the wild, we were designed to keep moving. When a snake sheds its old skin, it becomes a more refined creature. Never stop refining and re-defining yourself. We are all beautiful instruments of God. He created many notes in music so we would not be stuck playing the same song. Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your journey and play on. Nobody will ever reach ultimate perfection in this lifetime, but trying to achieve it is a full-time job. Start now and don't stop. Make your book of life a musical. Never abandon obligations, but have fun leaving behind a colorful legacy. Never allow anybody to be the composer of your own destiny. Take control of your life, and never allow limitations implanted by society, tell you how your music is supposed to sound — or how your book is supposed to be written.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
In terms of development, very young children are right-hemisphere dominant, especially during their first three years. They haven’t mastered the ability to use logic and words to express their feelings, and they live their lives completely in the moment—which is why they will drop everything to squat down and fully absorb themselves in watching a ladybug crawl along the sidewalk, not caring one bit that they are late for their toddler music class. Logic, responsibilities, and time don’t exist for them yet. But when a toddler begins asking “Why?” all the time, you know that the left brain is beginning to really kick in. Why? Because our left brain likes to know the linear cause-effect relationships in the world—and to express that logic with language.
Daniel J. Siegel (The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive)
Trout sat back and thought about the conversation. He shaped it into a story, which he never got around to writing until he was an old, old man. It was about a planet where the language kept turning into pure music, because the creatures there were so enchanted by sounds. Words became musical notes. Sentences became melodies. They were useless as conveyors of information, because nobody knew or cares what the meanings of words were anymore. So leaders in government and commerce, in order to function, had to invent new and much uglier vocabularies and sentence structures all the time, which would resist being transmuted to music.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages; she must be well trained in the fighting styles of the Kyoto masters and the modern tactics and weaponry of Europe. And besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved. All this she must possess, and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading, meditation, and Oriental discipline.
Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #1))
Do not despise your inner world. That is the first and most general piece of advice I would offer… Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status. But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve. As we grow, we all develop a wide range of emotions responding to this predicament: fear that bad things will happen and that we will be powerless to ward them off; love for those who help and support us; grief when a loved one is lost; hope for good things in the future; anger when someone else damages something we care about. Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. But for that very reason we are often ashamed of our emotions, and of the relations of need and dependency bound up with them. Perhaps males, in our society, are especially likely to be ashamed of being incomplete and dependent, because a dominant image of masculinity tells them that they should be self-sufficient and dominant. So people flee from their inner world of feeling, and from articulate mastery of their own emotional experiences. The current psychological literature on the life of boys in America indicates that a large proportion of boys are quite unable to talk about how they feel and how others feel — because they have learned to be ashamed of feelings and needs, and to push them underground. But that means that they don’t know how to deal with their own emotions, or to communicate them to others. When they are frightened, they don’t know how to say it, or even to become fully aware of it. Often they turn their own fear into aggression. Often, too, this lack of a rich inner life catapults them into depression in later life. We are all going to encounter illness, loss, and aging, and we’re not well prepared for these inevitable events by a culture that directs us to think of externals only, and to measure ourselves in terms of our possessions of externals. What is the remedy of these ills? A kind of self-love that does not shrink from the needy and incomplete parts of the self, but accepts those with interest and curiosity, and tries to develop a language with which to talk about needs and feelings. Storytelling plays a big role in the process of development. As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves. As we grow older, we encounter more and more complex stories — in literature, film, visual art, music — that give us a richer and more subtle grasp of human emotions and of our own inner world. So my second piece of advice, closely related to the first, is: Read a lot of stories, listen to a lot of music, and think about what the stories you encounter mean for your own life and lives of those you love. In that way, you will not be alone with an empty self; you will have a newly rich life with yourself, and enhanced possibilities of real communication with others.
Martha C. Nussbaum
My father was quiet ' she told him. 'My mother was not. They were polar opposites but you'd think they were a match made in heaven the way he loved her and she him. He'd sit and listen to her play for hours like it was their special language. I miss that the most their music. It made me feel . . . part of something beautiful.
Amalie Howard (Bloodspell (The Cruentus Curse, #1))
Poetry is less a respecter of individual persons than it is a compassionate witness to the meanings of the secret language that beats inside human hearts, the music that pulses through human cries, and the divinity which shines love beyond the veils of human limitations.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
I remember a man, a very lonely man, coming up to me at the end of a reading and looking into my face and saying, 'I feel as if I have looked down a corridor and seen into your soul.' And I looked at him and said, 'You haven't.' You know, Here's the good news and the bad news: you haven't! I made something, and you and I could look at it together, but it's not me; you don’t live with me; you're not intimate with me. You're not the man I live with or my friend. You will never know me in that way. I'm making something, like Joseph Cornell makes his boxes and everyone looks into them, but it's the box you look into; it's not the man or the woman. It's alchemy of language and memory and imagination and time and music and sounds that gets made, and that's different from 'Here is what happened to me when I was ten.
Marie Howe
Language is music. Written words are musical notation. The music of a piece of fiction establishes the way in which it is to be read, and, in the largest sense, what it means. It is essential to remember that characters have a music as well, a pitch and tempo, just as real people do. To make them believable, you must always be aware of what they would or would not say, where stresses would or would not fall.
Marilynne Robinson (When I Was a Child I Read Books)
Language is not law; it is in fact a lot like music. Speech is jazz – first you learn the basic rules, and then you become good enough to improvise all the time. Writing is somewhat more like classical composition, where established forms and conditions will hold greater sway.
Robert Lane Greene (You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity)
I would ask the reader to pause for a moment and ponder the statistics. Statistics are mere numbers; they need to be translated into human experience. What would a 90 percent mortality rate mean to the survivors and their society? The Black Death in Europe at its worst carried off 30 to 60 percent of the population. That was devastating enough. But the mortality rate wasn’t high enough to destroy European civilization. A 90 percent mortality rate is high enough: It does not just kill people; it annihilates societies; it destroys languages, religions, histories, and cultures. It chokes off the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next. The survivors are deprived of that vital human connection to their past; they are robbed of their stories, their music and dance, their spiritual practices and beliefs—they are stripped of their very identity.
Douglas Preston (The Lost City of the Monkey God)
[she felt] sorry for herself, for getting older, for being mortal, for all the music she still wanted to hear, the books she intended to read, the places she had meant to visit, the things she had promised herself she'd learn one day [...] and probably never would because time was beginning to feel like a fast express train that no longer stopped at all the stations.
Francesca Marciano (The Other Language)
The study of Scripture I find to be quite like mastering an instrument. No one is so good that they cannot get any better; no one knows so much that they can know no more. A professional can spot an amateur or a lack of practice or experience a mile away. His technicality, his spiritual ear is razor-sharp. He is familiar with the common mistakes, the counter-arguments; and insofar as this, he can clearly distinguish the difference between honest critics of the Faith and mere fools who criticize that which they know nothing.
Criss Jami (Healology)
And the strange thing was he had never loved her more than in that moment, because at that moment she had become himself. But thats not love, he thought, thats not what she wants, not what any of them want, they do not want you to find yourself in them, they want instead that you should lose yourself in them. And yet, he thought, they are always trying to find themselves in you. [...] And it seemed to him then that every human was always looking for himself, in bars, in railway trains, in offices, in mirrors, in love, especially in love, for the self of him that is there, someplace, in every other human. Love was not to give oneself, but find oneself, describe oneself. And that the whole conception had been written wrong. Because the only part of any man that he can ever touch or understand is that part of himself he recognises in him. And that he is always looking for the way in which he can expose his sealed bee cell and reach the other airtight cells with which he is connected in the waxy comb. And the only way he had ever found, the only code, the only language by which he could speak and be heard by other men, could communicate himself, was with a bugle. If you had a bugle here, he told himself, you could speak to her and be understood, you could play Fatigue Call for her, with its tiredness, its heavy belly going out to sweep somebody else's streets when it would rather stay home and sleep, she would understand it then. But you havent got a bugle, himself said, not here nor any other place. Your tongue has been ripped out. All you got is two bottles, one nearly full, one nearly empty.
James Jones (From Here to Eternity)
We are duplicitous, we're blind- and it is hard to live, trusting only in life: earthly life is a murky translation from the divine original; the general thought is clear but the primordial music is missing in its words. . . What are passions? Mistakes in the translation. What is love? A rhyme lost in transmission to our discordant language. . . It's time for me to take up the original!
Vladimir Nabokov (The Tragedy of Mister Morn)
I probably won’t play a song the same way tomorrow as I play it today. Only a pitchman says the same thing the same way twice, without varying a word. If music is a language, why don’t people use it with the same subtlety, nuance, and facility as they do the spoken language? Probably because they don’t verbalize with the same vocabulary and tone they once did. It has been said that a people’s character is reflected in their music. Our culture is a perfect example. If people here walk around using one-syllable words with no color, no variety, no shading, how can we expect our musical language to be any different? It’s like the emperor’s new clothes – sure they can sit and make wild noises on their synthesizers and call it music – who questions? But ask them to pull up a chair and play ‘Gal in Calico’ or Temptation,’ or even a straight dramatic version of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and they can’t do it. They’re too pretentious. They can’t just play songs.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A grimmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman. I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the faucets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable. Their magic box of television, and by their magic words, their jingles can cause everyone in the country to be thinking the same words and have the same banal thoughts all at exactly the same moment. In all of magic there is an incredibly large linguistic component. The Bardic tradition of magic would place a bard as being much higher and more fearsome than a magician. A magician might curse you. That might make your hands lay funny or you might have a child born with a club foot. If a Bard were to place not a curse upon you, but a satire, then that could destroy you. If it was a clever satire, it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates; it would destroy you in the eyes of your family. It would destroy you in your own eyes. And if it was a finely worded and clever satire that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries. Then years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and your absurdity. Writers and people who had command of words were respected and feared as people who manipulated magic. In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river. They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment. They’re not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being; that can change a society. They are seen as simple entertainment; things with which we can fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die. It’s not the job of the artist to give the audience what the audience wants. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience. They would be the artists. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.
Alan Moore
In the rare moments I permitted any stillness, I noted a small fluttering at the pit of my belly, a barely perceptible disturbance. The faint whisper of a word would sound in my head: writing. At first I could not say whether it was heartburn or inspiration. The more I listened, the louder the message became: I needed to write, to express myself through written language not only so that others might hear me but so that I could hear myself. The gods, we are taught, created humankind in their own image. Everyone has an urge to create. Its expression may flow through many channels: through writing, art, or music or through the inventiveness of work or in any number of ways unique to all of us, whether it be cooking, gardening, or the art of social discourse. The point is to honor the urge. To do so is healing for ourselves and for others; not to do so deadens our bodies and our spirits. When I did not write, I suffocated in silence.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
I actually chafe at describing myself as masculine. For one thing, masculinity itself is such an expansive territory, encompassing boundaries of nationality, race, and class. Most importantly, individuals blaze their own trails across this landscape. And it’s hard for me to label the intricate matrix of my gender as simply masculine. To me, branding individual self-expression as simply feminine or masculine is like asking poets: Do you write in English or Spanish? The question leaves out the possibilities that the poetry is woven in Cantonese or Ladino, Swahili or Arabic. The question deals only with the system of language that the poet has been taught. It ignores the words each writer hauls up, hand over hand, from a common well. The music words make when finding themselves next to each other for the first time. The silences echoing in the space between ideas. The powerful winds of passion and belief that move the poet to write.
Leslie Feinberg
Musicians do not have to be believed in. We do not have to be trusted. Our Music speaks for itself without the listener having to know anything about us. Music touches people's emotions in a way that nothing else can. When people find a musician they like, they are usually fans for Life. If they like the musician and his Music, they will open up their hearts to whatever that musician has to say. It matters not what country the musician or the fan comes from. Music is a language that all understand. It goes beyond and breaks down barriers. This makes the musician very powerful, and with power comes responsibility.
Victor L. Wooten (The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music)
Music, like the visual arts, is rooted in our experience of the natural world," said Schwartz. "It emulates our sound environment in the way that visual arts emulate the visual environment." In music we hear the echo of our basic sound making instrument-the vocal tract. This explanation for human music is simpler still than Pythagoras's mathematical equations: we like the sounds that are familiar to us-specifically, we like sounds that remind us of us.
Christine Kenneally (The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language)
I believe that no great lyric poet ever speaks in the so-called “proper” language of his or her time. Emily Dickinson didn’t write in “proper” English grammar but in slant music of fragmentary perception. Half a world and half a century away, Cesar Vallejo placed three dots in the middle of the line, as if language itself were not enough, as if the poet’s voice needed to leap from one image to another, to make—to use Eliot’s phrase—a raid on the inarticulate. Paul Celan wrote to his wife from Germany, where he briefly visited from his voluntary exile in France: “The language with which I make my poems has nothing to do with one spoken here, or anywhere.
Ilya Kaminsky
You don’t go to a show because you think someone in the band is hot. You don’t go because they always wear this cool, awesome outfit, or have the right hair. Those things are part of what makes up the whole picture of the music… but those things wouldn’t compel you to spend your hard earned money on a ticket to spend a night watching those clothes or that hair move around for a little while. Music resonates with everyone, which is why we call it the “universal language.
Hayley Williams
Cultures are like books, the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss once remarked, each a volume in the great library of humankind. In the sixteenth century, more books were burned than ever before or since. How many Homers vanished? How many Hesiods? What great works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and music vanished or never were created? Languages, prayers, dreams, habits, and hopes—all gone.
Charles C. Mann (1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus)
Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.
Paul Goodman
Our lips just trespassed on those inner labyrinths hidden deep within our ears, filled them with the private music of wicked words, hers in many languages, mine in the off color of my own tongue, until as our tones shifted, and our consonants spun and squealed, rattled faster, hesitated, raced harder, syllables soon melting with groans, or moans finding purchase in new words, or old words, or made-up words, until we gathered up our heat and refused to release it, enjoying too much the dark language we had suddenly stumbled upon, craved to, carved to, not a communication really but a channeling of our rumored desires, hers for all I know gone to Black Forests and wolves, mine banging back to a familiar form, that great revenant mystery I still could only hear the shape of, which in spite of our separate lusts and individual cries still continued to drive us deeper into stranger tones, our mutual desire to keep gripping the burn fueled by sound, hers screeching, mine – I didn’t hear mine – only hears, probably counter-pointing mine, a high-pitched cry, then a whisper dropping unexpectedly to practically a bark, a grunt, whatever, no sense any more, and suddenly no more curves either, just the straight away, some line crossed, where every fractured sound already spoken finally compacts into one long agonizing word, easily exceeding a hundred letters, even thunder, anticipating the inevitable letting go, when the heat is ultimately too much to bear, threatening to burn, scar, tear it all apart, yet tempting enough to hold onto for even one second more, to extend it all, if we can, as if by getting that much closer to the heat, that much more enveloped, would prove … - which when we did clutch, hold, postpone, did in fact prove too much after all, seconds too much, and impossible to refuse, so blowing all of everything apart, shivers and shakes and deep in her throat a thousand letters crashing in a long unmodulated fall, resonating deep within my cochlea and down the cochlear nerve, a last fit of fury describing in lasting detail the shape of things already come. Too bad dark languages rarely survive.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Quinn spoke their language—all mystery and inside jokes, scarred souls and statement shirts. It was a beautiful moment for him—in his element and completely happy. When they started playing, he leaned over and whispered in my ear. “See that guitar?” I nodded. “That’s a 1969 Martin D28. Hear me when I say if I had to choose between a beautiful girl and that guitar, I’d choose the guitar. Natch.” He took a huge gulp of water, clearly affected. “Naturally,” I whispered. “It could be why you’re still single.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Perfect Glass)
Language is the element of definition, the defining and descriptive incantation. It puts the coin between our teeth. It whistles the boat up. It shows us the city of light across the water. Without language there is no poetry, without poetry there’s just talk. Talk is cheap and proves nothing. Poetry is dear and difficult to come by. But it poles us across the river and puts a music in our ears. It moves us to contemplation. And what we contemplate, what we sing our hymns to and offer our prayers to, is what will reincarnate us in the natural world, and what will be our one hope for salvation in the What’sToCome.
Charles Wright
You can sit with us. You can live beside us. You can play your music. You can listen to mine. We can dance together. We can share our food. We can keep an eye on each other's kids. We can teach each other new languages. We can respect traditions. We can build new ones. You can ask for a cup of sugar. You can ask for directions. You can tell me when things are hard. You can tell me when beautiful things happen. We can listen to stories. We can disagree. We can agree. We can come to understandings. You can wear what you want. You can pray as you feel compelled to. You can love who you want. You can sit with us.
Elizabeth Tambascio
The Greeks were so committed to ideas as supernatural forces that they created an entire group of goddesses (not one but nine) to represent creative power; the opening lines of both The Iliad and The Odyssey begin with calls to them. These nine goddesses, or muses, were the recipients of prayers from writers, engineers, and musicians. Even the great minds of the time, like Socrates and Plato, built shrines and visited temples dedicated to their particular muse (or muses, for those who hedged their bets). Right now, under our very secular noses, we honor these beliefs in our language, as the etymology of words like museum ("place of the muses") and music ("art of the muses") come from the Greek heritage of ideas as superhuman forces.
Scott Berkun (The Myths of Innovation)
The connection being that in my head all language began in song and that the best stories inevitably reutrn to song, to a state of rapture. For years, I had assumed that throwing beautiful words at the page would make my prose feel true. But I had the process exactly backward. It was truth that lifted the language into beauty and toward song. It was a matter of doing what Joe Henry did, of pursuing characters into moments of emotional truth and slowing down. The result was a compression of sensual and psychological detail that released the rhythm and melody in language itself, what Longfellow called "the happy accidents of language.
Steve Almond (Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us)
Poetry that tames language into tight structures and yet manages to move us comes off as a feat, paralleling ballet or athletic talent in harnessing craft to beauty. When poetry is based on a less rigorous, more impressionistic definition of craft, its appeal depends more on whether one happens to be individually constituted to “get it” for various reasons. The audience narrows: poetry becomes more like tai chi than baseball.
John McWhorter (Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care)
And now, from beneath the audible, came a low reverberation. It came up through the soles of my feet. I stood still while it hummed upward bone by bone. There is no adequate simile. The pulse of the country worked through my body until I recognized it as music. As language. And the language ran everywhere inside me, like blood; and for feeling, it was as if through time I had been made of earth or mud or other insensate matter. Like a rhyme learned in antiquity a verse blazed to mind: O be quick, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet! And sure enough my soul leapt dancing inside my chest, and my feet sprang up and sped me forward, and the sense came to me of undergoing creation, as the land and the trees and the beasts of the orchard had done some long time before. And the pulse of the country came around me, as of voices lifted at great distance, and moved through me as I ran until the words came clear, and I sang with them a beautiful and curious chant.
Leif Enger (Peace Like a River)
For some young artists, it can take a bit of time to discover which tools (which medium, or genre, or career pathway) will truly suit them best. For me, although many different art forms attract me, the tools that I find most natural and comfortable are language and oil paint; I've also learned that as someone with a limited number of spoons it's best to keep my toolbox clean and simple. My husband, by contrast, thrives with a toolbox absolutely crowded to bursting, working with language, voice, musical instruments, puppets, masks animated on a theater stage, computer and video imagery, and half a dozen other things besides, no one of these tools more important than the others, and all somehow working together. For other artists, the tools at hand might be needles and thread; or a jeweller's torch; or a rack of cooking spices; or the time to shape a young child's day.... To me, it's all art, inside the studio and out. At least it is if we approach our lives that way.
Terri Windling
If a man were to spend years of his life trying to discover the chemical constituency of salt water without bothering to find out what has already been said on the subject in any elementary chemistry book, we should say that he was making very imperfect use of the resources available to us. Similarly, can it not be said that people, worrying themselves sick over their individual frustrations, constantly suffering from petty irritations and hypertensions, are making extremely imperfect use of the available human resources of adjustment when they fail to strengthen and quiet themselves through contact with literature, music, painting, and the other arts?
S.I. Hayakawa (Language in Thought and Action)
He was rowed down from the north in a leather skiff manned by a crew of trolls. His fur cape was caked with candle wax, his brow stained blue by wine - though the latter was seldom noticed due to the fox mask he wore at-all times. A quill in his teeth, a solitary teardrop a-squirm in his palm, he was the young poet prince of Montreal, handsome, immaculate, searching for sturdier doors to nail his poignant verses on. In Manhattan, grit drifted into his ink bottle. In Vienna, his spice box exploded. On the Greek island of Hydra, Orpheus came to him at dawn astride a transparent donkey and restrung his cheap guitar. From that moment on, he shamelessly and willingly exposed himself to the contagion of music. To the secretly religious curiosity of the traveler was added the openly foolhardy dignity of the troubadour. By the time he returned to America, songs were working in him like bees in an attic. Connoisseurs developed cravings for his nocturnal honey, despite the fact that hearts were occasionally stung. Now, thirty years later, as society staggers towards the millennium - nailing and screeching at the while, like an orangutan with a steak knife in its side - Leonard Cohen, his vision, his gift, his perseverance, are finally getting their due. It may be because he speaks to this wounded zeitgeist with particular eloquence and accuracy, it may be merely cultural time-lag, another example of the slow-to-catch-on many opening their ears belatedly to what the few have been hearing all along. In any case, the sparkle curtain has shredded, the boogie-woogie gate has rocked loose from its hinges, and here sits L. Cohen at an altar in the garden, solemnly enjoying new-found popularity and expanded respect. From the beginning, his musical peers have recognized Cohen´s ability to establish succinct analogies among life´s realities, his talent for creating intimate relationships between the interior world of longing and language and the exterior world of trains and violins. Even those performers who have neither "covered" his compositions nor been overtly influenced by them have professed to admire their artfulness: the darkly delicious melodies - aural bouquets of gardenia and thistle - that bring to mind an electrified, de-Germanized Kurt Weill; the playfully (and therefore dangerously) mournful lyrics that can peel the apple of love and the peach of lust with a knife that cuts all the way to the mystery, a layer Cole Porter just could`t expose. It is their desire to honor L. Cohen, songwriter, that has prompted a delegation of our brightest artists to climb, one by one, joss sticks smoldering, the steep and salty staircase in the Tower of Song.
Tom Robbins
Human language, for us moderns, has swung in on itself, turning its back on the beings around us. Language is a human property, suitable only for communication with other persons. We talk to people; we do not speak to the ground underfoot. We've largely forgotten the incantatory and invocational use of speech as a way of bringing ourselves into deeper rapport with the beings around us, or of calling the living land into resonance with us. It is a power we still brush up against whenever we use our words to bless and to curse, or to charm someone we're drawn to. But we wield such eloquence only to sway other people, and so we miss the greater magnetism, the gravitational power that lies within such speech. The beaver gliding across the pond, the fungus gripping a thick trunk, a boulder shattered by its tumble down a cliff or the rain splashing upon those granite fragments -- we talk about such beings, the weather and the weathered stones, but we do not talk to them. Entranced by the denotative power of words to define, to order, to represent the things around us, we've overlooked the songful dimension of language so obvious to our oral [storytelling] ancestors. We've lost our ear for the music of language -- for the rhythmic, melodic layer of speech by which earthly things overhear us.
David Abram (Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology)
Clinicians and researchers have remarked that where the higher emotions are concerned, sociopaths can “know the words but not the music.” They must learn to appear emotional as you and I would learn a second language, which is to say, by observation, imitation, and practice. And just as you or I, with practice, might become fluent in another language, so an intelligent sociopath may become convincingly fluent in “conversational emotion.” In fact, this would seem to be only a mildly challenging intellectual task, quite a lot easier than learning French or Chinese. Any person who can observe human actions even superficially, or who can read novels and watch old movies, can learn to act romantic or interested or softhearted. Virtually anyone can learn to say “I love you,” or to appear smitten and say the words, “Oh my! What a cute little puppy!” But not all human beings are capable of experiencing the emotion implied by the behavior. Sociopaths never do.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
When you look in the mirror you see not just your face but a museum. Although your face, in one sense, is your own, it is composed of a collage of features you have inherited from your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. The lips and eyes that either bother or please you are not yours alone but are also features of your ancestors, long dead pergaps as individuals but still very much alive as fragments in you. Even complex qualities such as your sense of balance, musical abilities, shyness in crowds, or susceptbility to sickness have been lived before. We carry the past around with us all the time, and not just in our bodies. It lives also in our customs, including the way we speak. The past is a set of invisible lenses we wear constantly, and through these we perceive de world and the world perceives us. We stand always on the shoulders of our ancestors, wheter or not we look down to acknowledge them.
David W. Anthony (The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World)
When you travel you become invisible if you want. I do want. I like to be the observer. What makes these people who they are Could I feel at home here No one expects you to have the stack of papers back by Tuesday or to check messages or to fertilize the geraniums or to sit full of dread in the waiting room at the protologist’s office. When travelling you have the delectable possibility of not understanding a word of what is said to you. Language becomes simply a musical background for watching bicycles zoom along a canal calling for nothing from you. Even better if you speak the language you catch nuances and make more contact with people. Travel releases spontaneity. You become a godlike creature full of choice free to visit the stately pleasure domes make love in the morning sketch a bell tower read a history of Byzantium stare for one hour at the face of Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna dei fusi. You open as in childhood and – for a time – receive this world. There’s the visceral aspect too – the huntress who is free. Free to go Free to return home bringing memories to lay on the hearth.
Frances Mayes (A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller)
I think music is what language once aspired to be. Music allows us to face God on our own terms because it reaches beyond life. I feel moments from the end. The muscles in my bowing arm tighten. The final notes are sonorous I steady my bow like an oar held in a river steering us all toward the bank of now and tomorrow and the day after that. Days ahead like open fields. And night pools outside the concert hall. The city is still wet. The concert hall is glassed in and overlooks a garden. Eyes of rain dot the windows and shiver with each breath of wind. Stars fill the sky then drop to flood the streets and the squares. When it rains even the most insignificant puddle is a map of the universe.
Simon Van Booy (Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories)
Those slight words and looks and touches are part of the soul's language; and the finest language, I believe, is chiefly made up of unimposing words, such as "light," "sound," "stars," "music"—words really not worth looking at, or hearing, in themselves, any more than "chips" or "sawdust." It is only that they happen to be the signs of something unspeakably great and beautiful. I am of opinion that love is a great and beautiful thing too, and if you agree with me, the smallest signs of it will not be chips and sawdust to you: they will rather be like those little words, "light" and "music," stirring the long-winding fibres of your memory and enriching your present with your most precious past.
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
Words accrue and lose meaning through a semantic mobility dependent on the community in which they thrive, and these meanings cannot be divorced from bodily sensation and emotion. Slang emerges among a circle of speakers. Irony requires double consciousness, reading one meaning and understanding another. Elegant prose involves a feeling for the rhythms and the music of sentences, a product of the sensual pleasure a writer takes in the sounds of words and the varying metric beats of sentences. Creative translation must take all this into account. If a meaning is lost in one sentence, it might be gained or added to the next one. Such considerations are not strictly logical. They do not involve a step-by-step plan but come from the translator’s felt understanding of the two languages involved. Rodney
Siri Hustvedt (A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind)
For I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man; A motion and a spirit, that impels All thinking things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods, And mountains; and of all that we behold From this green earth; of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create, And what perceive; well pleased to recognise In nature and the language of the sense, The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul Of all my moral being.
William Wordsworth (Lyrical Ballads)
I first met Winston Churchill in the early summer of 1906 at a dinner party to which I went as a very young girl. Our hostess was Lady Wemyss and I remember that Arthur Balfour, George Wyndman, Hilaire Belloc and Charles Whibley were among the guests… I found myself sitting next to this young man who seemed to me quite different from any other young man I had ever met. For a long time he seemed sunk in abstraction. Then he appeared to become suddenly aware of my existence. He turned on me a lowering gaze and asked me abruptly how old I was. I replied that I was nineteen. “And I,” he said despairingly, “am thirty-two already. Younger than anyone else who counts, though, “he added, as if to comfort himself. Then savagely: “Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is this allotted span for all we must cram into it!” And he burst forth into an eloquent diatribe on the shortness of human life, the immensity of possible human accomplishment—a theme so well exploited by the poets, prophets, and philosophers of all ages that it might seem difficult to invest it with new and startling significance. Yet for me he did so, in a torrent of magnificent language which appeared to be both effortless and inexhaustible and ended up with the words I shall always remember: “We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow worm.” By this time I was convinced of it—and my conviction remained unshaken throughout the years that followed. Later he asked me whether I thought that words had a magic and music quite independent of their meaning. I said I certainly thought so, and I quoted as a classic though familiar instance the first lines that came into my head. Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. His eyes blazed with excitement. “Say that again,” he said, “say it again—it is marvelous!” “But I objected, “You know these lines. You know the ‘Ode to a Nightengale.’ ” He had apparently never read or heard of it before (I must, however, add that next time I met him he had not learned not merely this but all of the odes to Keats by heart—and he recited them quite mercilessly from start to finish, not sparing me a syllable). Finding that he liked poetry, I quoted to him from one of my own favorite poets, Blake. He listened avidly, repeating some lines to himself with varying emphases and stresses, then added meditatively: “I never knew that old Admiral had found so much time to write such good poetry.” I was astounded that he, with his acute susceptibility to words and power of using them, should have left such tracts of English literature entirely unexplored. But however it happened he had lost nothing by it, when he approached books it was “with a hungry, empty mind and with fairly srong jaws, and what I got I *bit*.” And his ear for the beauty of language needed no tuning fork. Until the end of dinner I listened to him spellbound. I can remember thinking: This is what people mean when they talk of seeing stars. That is what I am doing now. I do not to this day know who was on my other side. Good manners, social obligation, duty—all had gone with the wind. I was transfixed, transported into a new element. I knew only that I had seen a great light. I recognized it as the light of genius… I cannot attempt to analyze, still less transmit, the light of genius. But I will try to set down, as I remember them, some of the differences which struck me between him and all the others, young and old, whom I have known. First and foremost he was incalculable. He ran true to no form. There lurked in his every thought and world the ambush of the unexpected. I felt also that the impact of life, ideas and even words upon his mind, was not only vivid and immediate, but direct. Between him and them there was no shock absorber of vicarious thought or precedent gleaned either from books or other minds. His relationship wit
Violet Bonham Carter
I will take you down my own avenue of remembrance, which winds among the hazards and shadows of my single year as a plebe. I cannot come to this story in full voice. I want to speak for the boys who were violated by this school, the ones who left ashamed and broken and dishonored, who departed from the Institute with wounds and bitter grievances. I want also to speak for the triumphant boys who took everything the system could throw at them, endured every torment and excess, and survived the ordeal of the freshman year with a feeling of transformation and achievement that they never had felt before and would never know again with such clarity and elation. I will speak from my memory- my memory- a memory that is all refracting light slanting through prisms and dreams, a shifting, troubled riot of electrons charged with pain and wonder. My memory often seems like a city of exiled poets afire with the astonishment of language, each believing in the integrity of his own witness, each with a separate version of culture and history, and the divine essentional fire that is poetry itself. But i will try to isolate that one lonely singer who gathered the fragments of my plebe year and set the screams to music. For many years, I have refused to listen as his obsessive voice narrated the malignant litany of crimes against my boyhood. We isolate those poets who cause us the greatest pain; we silence them in any way we can. I have never allowed this furious dissident the courtesy of my full attention. His poems are songs for the dead to me. Something dies in me every time I hear his low, courageous voice calling to me from the solitude of his exile. He has always known that someday I would have to listen to his story, that I would have to deal with the truth or falsity of his witness. He has always known that someday I must take full responsibility for his creation and that, in finally listening to him, I would be sounding the darkest fathoms of myself. I will write his stories now as he shouts them to me. I will listen to him and listen to myself. I will get it all down. Yet the laws of recall are subject to distortion and alienation. Memory is a trick, and I have lied so often to myself about my own role and the role of others that I am not sure I can recognize the truth about those days. But I have come to believe in the unconscious integrity of lies. I want to record even them. Somewhere in the immensity of the lie the truth gleams like the pure, light-glazed bones of an extinct angel. Hidden in the enormous falsity of my story is the truth for all of us who began at the Institute in 1963, and for all who survived to become her sons. I write my own truth, in my own time, in my own way, and take full responsibility for its mistakes and slanders. Even the lies are part of my truth. I return to the city of memory, to the city of exiled poets. I approach the one whose back is turned to me. He is frail and timorous and angry. His head is shaved and he fears the judgment of regiments. He will always be a victim, always a plebe. I tap him on the shoulder. "Begin," I command. "It was the beginning of 1963," he begins, and I know he will not stop until the story has ended.
Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline)
Fame requires every kind of excess. I mean true fame, a devouring neon, not the somber renown of waning statesmen or chinless kings. I mean long journeys across gray space. I mean danger, the edge of every void, the circumstance of one man imparting an erotic terror to the dreams of the republic. Understand the man who must inhabit these extreme regions, monstrous and vulval, damp with memories of violation. Even if half-mad he is absorbed into the public's total madness; even if fully rational, a bureaucrat in hell, a secret genius of survival, he is sure to be destroyed by the public's contempt for survivors. Fame, this special kind, feeds itself on outrage, on what the counselors of lesser men would consider bad publicity-hysteria in limousines, knife fights in the audience, bizarre litigation, treachery, pandemonium and drugs. Perhaps the only natural law attaching to true fame is that the famous man is compelled, eventually, to commit suicide. (Is it clear I was a hero of rock'n'roll?) Toward the end of the final tour it became apparent that our audience wanted more than music, more even than its own reduplicated noise. It's possible the culture had reached its limit, a point of severe tension. There was less sense of simple visceral abandon at our concerts during these last weeks. Few cases of arson and vandalism. Fewer still of rape. No smoke bombs or threats of worse explosives. Our followers, in their isolation, were not concerned with precedent now. They were free of old saints and martyrs, but fearfully so, left with their own unlabeled flesh. Those without tickets didn't storm the barricades, and during a performance the boys and girls directly below us, scratching at the stage, were less murderous in their love of me, as if realizing finally that my death, to be authentic, must be self-willed- a succesful piece of instruction only if it occured by my own hand, preferrably ina foreign city. I began to think their education would not be complete until they outdid me as a teacher, until one day they merely pantomimed the kind of massive response the group was used to getting. As we performed they would dance, collapse, clutch each other, wave their arms, all the while making absolutely no sound. We would stand in the incandescent pit of a huge stadium filled with wildly rippling bodies, all totally silent. Our recent music, deprived of people's screams, was next to meaningless, and there would have been no choice but to stop playing. A profound joke it would have been. A lesson in something or other. In Houston I left the group, saying nothing, and boarded a plane for New York City, that contaminated shrine, place of my birth. I knew Azarian would assume leadership of the band, his body being prettiest. As to the rest, I left them to their respective uproars- news media, promotion people, agents, accountants, various members of the managerial peerage. The public would come closer to understanding my disappearance than anyone else. It was not quite as total as the act they needed and nobody could be sure whether I was gone for good. For my closest followers, it foreshadowed a period of waiting. Either I'd return with a new language for them to speak or they'd seek a divine silence attendant to my own. I took a taxi past the cemetaries toward Manhattan, tides of ash-light breaking across the spires. new York seemed older than the cities of Europe, a sadistic gift of the sixteenth century, ever on the verge of plague. The cab driver was young, however, a freckled kid with a moderate orange Afro. I told him to take the tunnel. Is there a tunnel?" he said.
Don DeLillo
Yes, but bad language is bound to make in addition bad government, whereas good language is not bound to make bad government. That again is clear Confucius: if the orders aren’t clear they can’t be carried out. Lloyd George’s laws were such a mess, the lawyers never knew what they meant. And Talleyrand proclaimed that they changed the meaning of words between one conference and another. The means of communication breaks down, and that of course is what we are suffering now. We are enduring the drive to work on the subconscious without appealing to the reason. They repeat a trade name with the music a few times, and then repeat the music without it so that the music will give you the name. I think of the assault. We suffer from the use of language to conceal thought and to withhold all vital and direct answers. There is the definite use of propaganda, forensic language, merely to conceal and mislead.
Ezra Pound
After two or three stanzas and several images by which he was himself astonished, his work took possession of him and he experienced the approach of what is called inspiration. At such moments the correlation of the forces controlling the artist is, as it were, stood on its head. The ascendancy is no longer with the artist or the state of mind which he is trying to express, but with language, his instrument of expression. Language, the home and dwelling of beauty and meaning, itself begins to think and speak for man and turns wholly into music, not in the sense of outward, audible sounds but by virtue of the power and momentum of its inward flow. Then, like the current of a mighty river polishing stones and turning wheels by its very movement, the flow of speech creates in passing, by the force of its own laws, rhyme and rhythm and countless other forms and formations, still more important and until now undiscovered, unconsidered and unnamed. At such moments Yury felt that the main part of his work was not being done by him but by something which was above him and controlling him: the thought and poetry of the world as it was at that moment and as it would be in the future. He was controlled by the next step it was to take in the order of its historical development; and he felt himself to be only the pretext and the pivot setting it in motion. ... In deciphering these scribbles he went through the usual disappointments. Last night these rough passages had astonished him and moved him to tears by certain unexpectedly successful lines. Now, on re-reading these very lines, he was saddened to find that they were strained and glaringly far-fetched.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
It is noted that from 1967 to 1995 essays on negative emotions far outnumbered those on positive emotions in the psychological literature. The ratio was 21:1. Even those supreme perpetrators of pop nihilism, The New York Times and The Washington Post, have a better ratio than psychological literature. They average 12 negative stories to every one that might be construed to be non-negative. Many of their non-negative stories, however, cover success in sports and entertainment. I demand that the purveyors of despair who pretend to be dispassionate observes of the human condition go ahead and disclose that the 10 most beautiful words in the English languages are chimes, dawn, golden, hush, lullaby, luminous, melody, mist, murmuring, and tranquil; that Java sparrows prefer the music of Back over that of Schoenberg; that math experts have determined there are 1/96 trillion ways to lace up your shoes; that the Inuit term for making love is translated as ‘laughing together in bed;' and that according to Buckminster Fuller, “pollution is nothing but resources we’re not harvesting.
Rob Brezsny (Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You With Blessings)
I went to the room in Great Jones Street, a small crooked room, cold as a penny, looking out on warehouses, trucks and rubble. There was snow on the windowledge. Some rags and an unloved ruffled shirt of mine had been stuffed into places where the window frame was warped and cold air entered. The refrigerator was unplugged, full of record albums, tapes, and old magazines. I went to the sink and turned on both taps all the way, drawing an intermittent trickle. Least is best. I tried the radio, picking up AM only at the top of the dial, FM not at all." The industrial loft buildings along Great Jones seemed misproportioned, broad structures half as tall as they should have been, as if deprived of light by the great skyscraper ranges to the north and south." Transparanoia owns this building," he said. She wanted to be lead singer in a coke-snorting hard-rock band but was prepared to be content beating a tambourine at studio parties. Her mind was exceptional, a fact she preferred to ignore. All she desired was the brute electricity of that sound. To make the men who made it. To keep moving. To forget everything. To be that sound. That was the only tide she heeded. She wanted to exist as music does, nowhere, beyond maps of language. Opal knew almost every important figure in the business, in the culture, in the various subcultures. But she had no talent as a performer, not the slightest, and so drifted along the jet trajectories from band to band, keeping near the fervers of her love, that obliterating sound, until we met eventually in Mexico, in somebody's sister's bed, where the tiny surprise of her name, dropping like a pebble on chrome, brought our incoherent night to proper conclusion, the first of all the rest, transactions in reciprocal tourism. She was beautiful in a neutral way, emitting no light, defining herself in terms of attrition, a skinny thing, near blond, far beyond recall from the hard-edged rhythms of her life, Southwestern woman, hard to remember and forget...There was never a moment between us that did not measure the extent of our true connection. To go harder, take more, die first.
Don DeLillo (Great Jones Street)
An individual's torments only have meaning within his or her personal experience. Faced with the collective we are as naked and helpless as the day we were born. Our individual development depends on realizing that others cannot understand our experience. Sometimes the obstacles we meet tempt us to place our destiny in the hands of another. But we cannot live by proxy, we must take everything on our own shoulders. Then we know we are alone. We must allow this sensation to fill our being and live like abandoned children because only thus is our life in our own hands. From time to time a mirage will surface of some way of life that will free us from the feeling of abandonment; but a mirage is exactly what it will remain. We can of course live solely within the collective, with the illusion of speaking a common language and of not being alone, but this deception can cost our lives. If we act according to the general rule, we are following a code that is not our own. Everyone must find his or her own tune, accepting the resulting abandonment by those who continue singing in concert. Great artists create modes of expression that are uniquely their own: they enter so deeply into their sense of life that preexisting modes no longer serve their purpose. They invent new ways of writing poetry, of painting and making music.
Aldo Carotenuto (Eros and Pathos: Shades of Love and Suffering (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 40))
What is the value of sensitives? Look around: we live in a ugly and stupid world which could have been prevented if sensitives had been present, and had the power to influence things. That block-shaped, pressed concrete, ugly shopping mall? The princess would opine that no one could have any peace of mind with such hideous backgrounds, and demand something like a traditional building, with ornate spires and comfortable human spaces instead. Grating, two-note music ranting about copulation and projected sexual desire? No princess would want this crass gibberish around her, nor would she recognize music which neglected the finer parts of composition, melody, harmony, rhythm, and narrative. She would hire Schubert instead. Schools that treat students like livestock, jobs that are jails, marriages that are suicide pacts, and boring tract housing? Similarly, a princess would have no use for those, and perceive that these would be abusive to her so must be to others as well. As children, we made fun of the sensitivity of the princess. A pea, under twenty mattresses, really? The point — in the visual-metaphorical language of fable, religion, literature, and conspiracy theory — tells us that sensitivity is in fact needed, and it needs power to save the rest of us from what we do not yet perceive. In this story, the princess is simply a finer instrument. After twenty years, we might notice that we woke up tired in the mornings, and eventually investigate and find the pea, but she knew right away, intuitively and by the nature of her character. This is part of what makes an aristocrat.
Brett Stevens
In mystical literature such self-contradictory phrases as "dazzling obscurity," "whispering silence," "teeming desert," are continually met with. They prove that not conceptual speech, but music rather, is the element through which we are best spoken to by mystical truth. Many mystical scriptures are indeed little more than musical compositions. "He who would hear the voice of Nada, 'the Soundless Sound,' and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana…. When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams, when he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE—the inner sound which kills the outer…. For then the soul will hear, and will remember. And then to the inner ear will speak THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE…. And now thy SELF is lost in SELF, THYSELF unto THYSELF, merged in that SELF from which thou first didst radiate.. . . Behold! thou hast become the Light, thou hast become the Sound, thou art thy Master and thy God. Thou art THYSELF the object of thy search: the VOICE unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the seven sounds in one, the VOICE OF THE SILENCE. Om tat Sat."[277] [277] H. P. Blavatsky: The voice of the Silence. These words, if they do not awaken laughter as you receive them, probably stir chords within you which music and language touch in common. Music gives us ontological messages which non-musical criticism is unable to contradict, though it may laugh at our foolishness in minding them. There is a verge of the mind which these things haunt; and whispers therefrom mingle with the operations of our understanding, even as the waters of the infinite ocean send their waves to break among the pebbles that lie upon our shores.
William James (Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature)
This place, our little cloud forest, even though we missed our papi, it was the most beautiful place you've ever seen. We didn't really know that then, because it was the only place we'd ever seen, except in picture in books and magazines, but now that's I've seen other place, I know. I know how beautiful it was. And we loved it anyway even before we knew. Because the trees had these enormous dark green leaves, as a big as a bed, and they would sway in the wind. And when it rain you could hear the big, fat raindrops splatting onto those giant leaves, and you could only see the sky in bright blue patches if you were walking a long way off to a friend's house or to church or something, when you passed through a clearing and all those leaves would back away and open up and the hot sunshine would beat down all yellow and gold and sticky. And there were waterfalls everywhere with big rock pools where you could take a bath and the water was always warm and it smelled like sunlight. And at night there was the sound of the tree frogs and the music of the rushing water from the falls and all the songs of the night birds, and Mami would make the most delicious chilate, and Abuela would sing to us in the old language, and Soledad and I would gather herbs and dry them and bundle them for Papi to sell in the market when he had a day off, and that's how we passed our days.' Luca can see it. He's there, far away in the misty cloud forest, in a hut with a packed dirt floor and a cool breeze, with Rebeca and Soledad and their mami and abuela, and he can even see their father, far away down the mountain and through the streets of that clogged, enormous city, wearing a long apron and a chef's hat, and his pockets full of dried herbs. Luca can smell the wood of the fire, the cocoa and cinnamon of the chilate, and that's how he knows Rebeca is magical, because she can transport him a thousand miles away into her own mountain homestead just by the sound of her voice.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
And barbarians were inventors not only of philosophy, but almost of every art. The Egyptians were the first to introduce astrology among men. Similarly also the Chaldeans. The Egyptians first showed how to burn lamps, and divided the year into twelve months, prohibited intercourse with women in the temples, and enacted that no one should enter the temples from a woman without bathing. Again, they were the inventors of geometry. There are some who say that the Carians invented prognostication by the stars. The Phrygians were the first who attended to the flight of birds. And the Tuscans, neighbours of Italy, were adepts at the art of the Haruspex. The Isaurians and the Arabians invented augury, as the Telmesians divination by dreams. The Etruscans invented the trumpet, and the Phrygians the flute. For Olympus and Marsyas were Phrygians. And Cadmus, the inventor of letters among the Greeks, as Euphorus says, was a Phoenician; whence also Herodotus writes that they were called Phoenician letters. And they say that the Phoenicians and the Syrians first invented letters; and that Apis, an aboriginal inhabitant of Egypt, invented the healing art before Io came into Egypt. But afterwards they say that Asclepius improved the art. Atlas the Libyan was the first who built a ship and navigated the sea. Kelmis and Damnaneus, Idaean Dactyli, first discovered iron in Cyprus. Another Idaean discovered the tempering of brass; according to Hesiod, a Scythian. The Thracians first invented what is called a scimitar (arph), -- it is a curved sword, -- and were the first to use shields on horseback. Similarly also the Illyrians invented the shield (pelth). Besides, they say that the Tuscans invented the art of moulding clay; and that Itanus (he was a Samnite) first fashioned the oblong shield (qureos). Cadmus the Phoenician invented stonecutting, and discovered the gold mines on the Pangaean mountain. Further, another nation, the Cappadocians, first invented the instrument called the nabla, and the Assyrians in the same way the dichord. The Carthaginians were the first that constructed a triterme; and it was built by Bosporus, an aboriginal. Medea, the daughter of Æetas, a Colchian, first invented the dyeing of hair. Besides, the Noropes (they are a Paeonian race, and are now called the Norici) worked copper, and were the first that purified iron. Amycus the king of the Bebryci was the first inventor of boxing-gloves. In music, Olympus the Mysian practised the Lydian harmony; and the people called Troglodytes invented the sambuca, a musical instrument. It is said that the crooked pipe was invented by Satyrus the Phrygian; likewise also diatonic harmony by Hyagnis, a Phrygian too; and notes by Olympus, a Phrygian; as also the Phrygian harmony, and the half-Phrygian and the half-Lydian, by Marsyas, who belonged to the same region as those mentioned above. And the Doric was invented by Thamyris the Thracian. We have heard that the Persians were the first who fashioned the chariot, and bed, and footstool; and the Sidonians the first to construct a trireme. The Sicilians, close to Italy, were the first inventors of the phorminx, which is not much inferior to the lyre. And they invented castanets. In the time of Semiramis queen of the Assyrians, they relate that linen garments were invented. And Hellanicus says that Atossa queen of the Persians was the first who composed a letter. These things are reported by Seame of Mitylene, Theophrastus of Ephesus, Cydippus of Mantinea also Antiphanes, Aristodemus, and Aristotle and besides these, Philostephanus, and also Strato the Peripatetic, in his books Concerning Inventions. I have added a few details from them, in order to confirm the inventive and practically useful genius of the barbarians, by whom the Greeks profited in their studies. And if any one objects to the barbarous language, Anacharsis says, "All the Greeks speak Scythian to me." [...]
Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis, Books 1-3 (Fathers of the Church))