Music has been the theme of the last few weeks, and I've been thinking about the musicality of writing. For there is more to the meaning of words than the rational and symbolic, as the rhythm and sway and sound of a string of words has its own meaning, its own text open for interpretation.
Words are symbols, really, markers for meanings either concrete or abstract. They are rational. They are parcels of compact messages, communicating specific ideas, signifiers for something in the real world. Yet their impact telescopes far beyond this, affected by the tone and sound of the words themselves.
And sound is not entirely accurate, for often words are read silently. Yet, even still, they create a sort of mind sound, a sonic impression, an imagined voice. And if the rational message is in the direct symbolic reference of the words, their emotive strength is often found in this mind sound, this strange audio-visual interpretation of the texture of words and sentences.
This is what we want, isn't it, if we want to make art out of our words? Yet how difficult, how challenging, to find the bluesy soul of sentences. How do we wed the rational meaning with the emotive tone and rhythm of language?
What is it about a comma here, or a comma there, that shapes the felt impact of words? The sound and flow of a line as a sort of instrumental background beyond the voice of a singer. The sad wail of a trumpet, the deft flutter of a flute, the drums sounding in some deep cavern of the world and singing of the slow march of continents.
What is the music of writing to you? How do you find the sound of your writing? What do you want from the music of your words?