Monday, June 5, 2017

Should you use a quotation, or just let your own words fall out?

I just ran across an interesting article from May 31, 2017 at CounterPunch by Kim C. Domenico titled Add Meaning, Stir and Bake: A New Anarchist Recipe in which she said:

“....Beginning with my husband’s fiftieth  birthday, I realized if there was something I longed to hear spoken at a gathering or occasion, I should not undertake a search for the apt Rumi poem or the Native American chant.  Rather, I needed to take the truly radical path:  I should speak the words I wanted to hear!  Over the 18 years since then, this ceremonial speaking has become probably the most ‘anarchist’ thing I do, which is, to speak truly to occasions in a way that revives the eternal meanings and verities for me, trusting the words will strike at least some chords in the listeners.”

Her words reminded me of the Sara Bareilles song Brave, which says just to:

“Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave”

I blogged about that song on August 1, 2013 in a post titled Joy of letting the words fall out.

What do you think?

UPDATE: June 14, 2017

If you are tempted to quote the Sufi mystic Rumi, keep in mind that his poems might not mean what you think. Look up an article from April 16, 2014 by Mohammed Ghilan at Aljazeera on April 16, 2014 titled What was Rumi talking about?

The same caution applies to modern Sufi songwriting. Richard Thompson’s lovely song Dimming of the Day can be taken as a romantic duet, as in the 2010 version with Bonnie Raitt. But if you just look at the cover for his and his wife Linda’s 1975 album Pour Down Like Silver, you would think differently about what was meant.

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