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NATIVE TONGUES

In the seven thousand languages
Each has a word for tree and cloud.
But what of the shadows from the leaves
That make an intricate pattern on our path,
Or the fantastic creatures we invent
As the clouds shape shift before us,
Or the clusters of stars that haunt the sky
With the faces of our ancestors?

Somehow in the primordial gardens
The telepathic serpent delighted us;
Once the apple was categorized with a sound
We were forever cursed to name everything,
Including the very instinctive almighty
That hid the tree of life to remain nameless
And split our species from the Tower of Babel.

All the philosophers from the different tribes
With their alphabets and common rules
Have found Rosseta stones to share their prose-
Though some put in front and others
Follow to the rear, there must be a verb-
The action and the thing in pure thought
Is from a universal truth of ideas,
A communion of mathematics.

But for the poets and singers of songs-
We can share the dances and colors
Of painted trinkets and carvings,
But we have each our own lullabies
Which define us as we drown in the music
Of our verses, and know a sorrow
That we alone can understand.

Last few words: 
Rosetta stone- famous ancient carved stone commemorating an event in 3 different languages giving to archeologists the key of translation. There are over 7000 languages right now on our planet.
Editing stage: 

Comments

I think this is the most engaging of all your poems I've read. Like, I read it three times in a row.
The first stanza almost brought tears to my eyes, it was so truthful.
There is something particularly powerful about admitting that in spite of all the naming we have done, there is still far more to be named... the shadows from the leaves etc.

I almost thought, A COMMUNION OF MATHEMATICS was too strong. Somehow as I was reading it I anticipated A COMMUNION OF LOGIC. Maybe reading it a few more times might make me comfortable with it. Sometimes we make the unconscious decision of ignoring the beauty of a word because of our tastes.

Well done.

Honestly I suppose that is why this site exists, to share our work and hopefully move somebody!
I understand your comment and whereas they both serve the same purpose in connecting the idea I chose mathematics because of the sound with communion (the alliteration) and the fact that numbers are a universal that our brains perceive which transcend language.
Again with much thanks

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

"We were forever cursed to name everything"

and

"... the lullabies
Which define us as we drown in the music
Of our verses..."

This is the line between magic in language and habitual use of language, between words that throw the very thing in your lap and feeling in your heart and words that have been so polished they are slippery, and have no grip on the deeper meanings they wish to convey.
I love the idea that drove you to write this, and I love the way it's written.
In places, the inner logic is hard to follow - by which I mean the inner workings of your mind, i.e. "We can share the dances and colors/Of painted trinkets and carvings" - although your intention peeks through the words, for me it's not clear what exactly you are trying to say, and it feels a little forced. Out of the entire poem, this is the only thing I found uneasy to read.

Beautiful.

 

Love,
Steph

... to remember what it felt like to have my being set alight
beneath the moon when I was full and I was dancing with the night
when I could see beyond my sight
when I could see beyond my sight

I'm away from the computer and it's hard for me to work on the phone ...the poem was quickly written and I might agree with your comments and will revise in a few days
I'm excited and looking forward to sharing poems with you!

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

only a Question or two
...seven thousand languages.... where did you come with 7000! I wonder
Then there is a Qs mark about ancestors ... I wondered !!!!
then each first line is Caps
why, that is only compy's need not poetry's
How would a para like this read
just have a feel
I know you are one of our best poets
Kindly excuse me I am just learning....

all your words only

''All the philosophers from the different tribes
with their alphabets and common rules
have found Rosetta stones to share their prose-
though some put in front and others
follow to the rear, there must be a verb-
the action and the thing in pure thought
is from a universal truth of ideas,
a communion of mathematics.''

Hi if you go on "the google" there are several excellent articles about language and they generally agree there are 6900 languages spoken and even more dialects.
Thanks for your warmly received comments

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment
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