Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I'm into words. I like the work of those who are good with them. I mess about with them for fun, myself. So much of our literature is focused on the written word. We read silently, to ourselves. We are even into the physicality of the media words are printed on. I usually smell a book before reading it. We like nice binding. Sometimes part of a poems structure is how it looks on the page. This world of words has always been my words focus.

The world of silently reading on the page is like a 2 dimensional world, a fine thing unto itself, but without a whole dimension that some other places have. I'm talking about performance. People speak or sing the words. You can add this dimension to any writing, reading a story aloud, performing a poem in a coffee shop, reciting scripture in church. The most obvious and widespread form that performing words takes place in our culture is singing. What's fascinating about vocalizing words, is that there really is a whole nother dimension, a whole layer that isn't there if it is read silently. The amount of room there is for interpretation is astonishing to me. Particularly because I have no competence for performing.

As I said, we see this most often with music. It is amazing to me when someone takes a song, especially a well known song, and makes it their own, something very different. Many examples come to mind, and I have this whole thread going in my blog about different performances of songs written by Leonard Cohen. Yesterday, Luke sent me a gorgeous example of a song transformed. He has since blogged it, via YouTube. Check it out.

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