Language and Poetry: Language Resurrection, a Poem - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
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Language and Poetry: Language Resurrection, a Poem

Author:

Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

Our education and growth depend on a thriving language.

Our education and growth depend on a thriving language.

Speaking of Language: Alive or Dying

Languages have a life cycle of their own. For example, in a recent article I read in a newspaper, a report discussed the death of a Peruvian language. The story centered around a man, the last speaker of his native language, who was devastated By the loss of All of his tribal members due to changes in their environment which had occurred over the last fifty years. Yet, he shared the basics of the dying tongue for a scientist who recorded the conversation.

My mind recalled Latin, Mother-tongue of many languages. I pondered what it may have been like to be the last speaker of that language in a conversational manner. Certainly, there are Latin Catholic masses. Most medical terms, and the legal profession, have foundational parts of words traced back to Latin. However, the tongue of the Romans primarily lives on paper.


By contrast, English is vibrant and healthy. It is the “business” tongue of the globe. It changes and the vocabulary is always expanding. This poem is dedicated to those who have helped keep our languages of today healthy. This dedication includes: Spanish instructors, Mandarin teachers, and all of the language educators of our planet. In addition, I thank Ms. White, my high school English and Literature teacher. I also offer a special thanks to the poet and English teacher who writes on this site, Lora Hollings, for continuing the important work of keeping our language alive and thriving. I've also encountered three poets on this site, Venus Marizta, Kshipra Pal, and Thomas Hooker, who also come up with creative ways to express thoughts and ideas in moving poetic works. Enjoy: “Language Resurrection.” If you find the words to do so, please leave comments.

Poll

The words in a text may tell only part of the story.

The words in a text may tell only part of the story.

Language Resurrection

Language container of youthful stories,

Words borders of chapters turned and closed hands,

Contents spilled and spelled memorials,

For each typed or uttered shackled sentence.

Language nailed painting walls colorful souls,

Melting through reshaping vain items anew,

Another tale another history,

Blurred phrases blurted phases all renewed.

Even hands off – Kings’ nails scratch, scrape, and sue,

At my desk diplomas heated degrees,

Encircling my tongue to speak with ease,

“Write this right. Keep quiet those real fables.

Smile with the elite furnishing tables.”

Language still knows a place to seek and slide,

Puppy pit bull someday to rise,

Petted, panting, playing with the Kings’ wolves,

Loving and leading that mightiest pack,

Libraries books carried in my back sack,

Words finding pages refuse to go back,

I’ve always avoided those sidewalk cracks,

Parents taught me always best way to act.

Kings have been overthrown I’ve heard, stranger,

Mouths have many tongues and kingdoms to please,

Vocabulary invested our bond,

Articulation robust our need.

Colleges collecting long lost speech,

Carbon tombs my ancestors’ voice imaged stilled,

Play back with lasers foreign people sounds,

Fossilized phonics fancy funerals.

: As long as there is love in the world, men and women will find the words to express it.

: As long as there is love in the world, men and women will find the words to express it.

Reading an epitaph silence confused,

“When ideas need expressing language rescues,

Words retire to those dictionaries,

Rising again with shapes skinny or fat.”

Just a hiatus? A soft vacation?

Temporary shelter from fixed station,

To be awakened to our loud throats,

To say things once hidden in dusty moat.

My Savior spoke fluent Aramaic,

His cherished voice alive and clear in books,

Noise of words change while meaning still remains,

Evolve and revolve can’t dissolve His reach.

To kiss the lips of those longing for more,

Hip-hop blasting English born dialect,

I’m certain His Word resides somewhere there,

Even songs beyond my comprehension.

Poll

Languages may vanish, but ideas stay and grow.

Languages may vanish, but ideas stay and grow.

Interesting Facts About Languages Today

  • In order to understand how many people speak a particular language, several factors must be considered. Primarily, various sources may give different estimates. Also, there is no set definition as to what constitutes mastery of a second language. In addition, there is debate as to what is a “dialect” or represents a “language.” Even the numbers of native speakers of a particular language may be questionable.
  • There are approximately 400 million Native English speakers. But nearly 1.5 billion people speak the English language across the globe. Mandarin Chinese is the second most spoken language on the planet according to some sources. However, depending on the source, the order of the most spoken languages in the world are in this order: Mandarin, Spanish, English, and Hindi. Arabic is another popular language. French is the sixth most popular language. Some scholars believe the use of French will expand, particularly, in Africa.
  • Although there are approximately seven thousand languages on Earth, nearly half of them are spoken by small numbers of people. These groups are usually no more than three thousand people in size. For example, the Hawaiian language has stabilized at about one thousand speakers, but it is vulnerable to vanishing. Some fast fading languages include: Njerep, Liki, and Sarcee. Indeed, every continent on the planet where humans live have a language on the verge of extinction. To examine whether a language is endanger of becoming extinct, age distribution is pivotal among the users of the tongue compared to the actual number of speakers of the language. Scientists estimate nearly half of the languages today will be extinct in a century.
  • The shortest sentence in the English language is: I am. 25% of the world’s population speak English. To read a Chinese newspaper, a minimum of two thousand characters must be known by the reader. The written Chinese language has fifty thousand characters. On the continent of Africa, some languages are composed of “clicks.” These are known as Khoisan languages.
Language will never fly away.

Language will never fly away.

References

Lists of endangered languages – Wikipedia. Retrieved October 6, 2018, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_endangered_languages


List of languages by total number of speakers – Wikipedia. Retrieved October 6, 2018, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_total_number_of_speakers

© 2018 Tim Truzy

Comments

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on November 02, 2018:

I was interested to see what was the most linguistically diverse country on planet Earth. According to several resources, as of 2006, Papua New Guinea has 832 "living" languages, as reported by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare. This makes the country number one on the language list. The country recognizes several spoken languages and a sign language as official. I'm glad English is one of those languages because someday that may be a place I want to visit.

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 26, 2018:

Thanks for the reread, Eric.

You are always an encouraging person and you are so right.

Your articles can be quite poetic as well as spiritually uplifting and educational.

That reminds me: I need to see what Eric has been up-to this week.

Much respect and admiration,

Tim

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2018:

Tim this is a great reread. We are learning the language of certain things. A plumber has a lexicon, Mammals have a lexicon, Spirituality has one and so do our languages. We don't do so much do definitions in general but rather how the words work in a niche and how to talk about it.

Use the literary rules - then apply as you care.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 26, 2018:

Thanks, Nell,

I appreciate your second look here. I must admit, I have a friend who teaches now in China, and she has learned some Mandarin. She would completely agree with you: Mandarin is a tough language to master.

Curiously enough, according to some studies from English as a Second language instructors - English ranks as one of the hardest languages to master as a second tongue on the planet. I'm glad I learned it early.

Likewise, you show your skillful use of our language in the articles you write. Thanks for helping to keep our language alive and healthy. Nell, I appreciate the mind opening pieces you write. Reading your work helps with my creativity and encourages reflecting on who we are as a species.

Much respect and deep gratitude,

Sincerely,

Tim

Nell Rose from England on October 25, 2018:

Fascinating read Tim. I have tried learning various languages, but my heart was never really in it. Mandarin would just totally confuse me! lol! I love old languages, and its such a shame when languages do disappear, great read!

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 13, 2018:

Hi, Sean,

An interesting fact I learned was the Greek language and Chinese languages were some of the first which still exist which have changed very little in written or spoken form for centuries.

I appreciate your comment.

To a talented, inspiring, and prolific uplifting writer,

Much respect and admiration from your brother across the ocean,

Tim

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on October 13, 2018:

I love your talent, my brother! Another excellent article, full of your Spirit, helpful and with respect.

I always believed that languages are alive and evolving. Here in Greece, we speak a very powerful and lovely language, difficult enough though. This language has survived through centuries and many occupations as those from Romans and Turks and still can reflect the spirit of the ancient philosophers!

Εἰρήνη πᾶσι - eirene pasi - "peace to all"!

Sean

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 10, 2018:

The honor is mutual, friend. Keep writing treasures for all of us to cherish.

To a brilliant, talented, and creative soul,

Much respect and admiration from me,

Tim

Venus Mary from Panamá on October 09, 2018:

Hi Tim, very interesting what you explain about the language and the predominance of a few in the world. In relation to the Resurrection of the language, I loved the rhythm and the way in which concepts are moved and rotated. And words that arise inherent in the times, history, qualities and memories allied in their verses.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 09, 2018:

Thanks, John,

I appreciate your comment.

That's admirable of the teacher who is trying to record the language of the native people of Australia. I have yet to learn much Japanese, but I can say Toyota nicely. That's a language I wish to study.

One of my acquaintances is from Liberia. She speaks fluent English, French, and several tribal languages. She's tried to teach me some words from French and the tribal languages, and my tongue keeps speaking English or Spanish. Go figure.

However, you are another example of a poet who has the skill and gift of keeping our language healthy with original poetry.

Thank you for taking your precious time out to read and respond to my article.

Much respect and Gratitude,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 09, 2018:

Thanks, Lora,

I appreciate your comment. I suspect English and a few other languages will continue to be used by the general population of the planet as long as there are profits, religions, and politics to play out in our world. That's a twist on a small joke, probably told by a long deceased Roman about Latin.

Thank you for continuing to inspire other creative minds with your wonderful work, Lora.

Much respect and admiration,

Tim

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 08, 2018:

This was a very enjoyable and educational article, Tim. The poem was expertly written, and the information about language interesting. Many Australian aboriginal dialects are dying or in danger of it as the elders pass away because most were only verbal languages and never written down. I know of at least one man, a white teacher, who spent much time living in a remote community who has made it his job to write down the language of one group so it can be preserved. I have learnt a little French and Japanese but not enough to converse fluently.

Lora Hollings on October 08, 2018:

Tim,

I’m very flattered that you included me in your introduction in keeping English alive and thriving. I hope that indeed it is the case! Your poem is both profound and such fun too! I love the word play and what it has to say…words die and then they are resurrected. And your poetry complex, rich in meaning & exhilarating in its breath and spirit, will certainly help keep our language alive as it inspires all those who read it!

And I learned so many interesting facts about languages today from reading your article as well. How sad it is that so many languages have become extinct and that nearly half of the languages today will become extinct in a century. Thank you for this awesome work of poetry and your edifying exploration of language. A very enjoyable and richly rewarding article.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 08, 2018:

Thanks, Flourish,

I truly appreciate your comment.

Then, you recognize I was referring to the "Kings' English." Also, I was referring to the King of Kings.

I love abstract surrealism because it allows me to convey several meanings, subtle or overt, in a single line.

I didn't know your professor wanted you to do literary criticism. You would have been quite good at it. You are very observant, able to evaluate both sides of every equation. That's what I gather from your work.

An interesting thing about ASL: There is a community of individuals who are totally deaf in the western part of the country that has taken sign language to a new level. Researchers have discovered that this community, which has been around for several generations, do not use just hand or head gestures, but eye movement, subtle nods, and many other tiny gestures to communicate expressions which scientists are still figuring out.

To an astute, kind, and caring writer,

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 08, 2018:

As I read your poem, I tried to dissect the word associations. When I was in college, I loved the written word so much and found meaning in literary works (whether intended or not by the author) that a professor strongly encouraged me to pursue literary criticism as a career. I didn't see that as real practical, however, and knew my dad would have kittens over that choice. I enjoyed this article, from your poem to your language facts. I learned a bit of Spanish as a child then in high school took two years of French, then in college two years of Spanish. I found that I have an affinity for French and Spanish utterly interferes. I can't hold them both in my head at the same time. I also want to learn German and would love to learn ASL.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 08, 2018:

Thank you, Mark,

I enjoyed writing this one a lot.

You are another poet/writer who also takes the English language and make it a paint brush to color our minds and hearts with intense images and profound thoughts.

You are a constant source of support for your HP community.

Deepest respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Mark Tulin from Santa Barbara, California on October 08, 2018:

Tim, your poetry is at once beautiful and educational. It helped me become more aware of the beauty of language and its many variations.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 07, 2018:

Hi, Nell,

You honor me with your visit.

I've tried French and decided to stick with Spanish as my "second" language.

I've learned a few Hebrew words - a very few - and decided to stick with Spanish as a number two option.

I guess you see where this is going.

I love languages, but they can be tough to get a grip on like you suggested.

I look forward to reading more of your work,

Much respect and admiration for an informative, talented, and creative person,

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 07, 2018:

Hi, Eric,

As always, I appreciate your comment. I think its great you had the experience with Vietnamese.

In truth, you are quite a superb communicator in your work, my friend.

I spent a summer in Mexico and loved it. Mexico City was incredibly crowded, but the people were so nice where we were.

I've visited Germany, and that was o.k. except for the chilly mornings.

I often think about the Tower of Babel. Some researchers have suggested that our DNA, when examined carefully, actually makes out a language.

In any case, I wonder if the many languages we speak are an offshoot of an older language which allows us as a species to always express our ideas, even when a language vanishes.

All Courtesy of the Greatest Communicator of All.

Such are my thoughts.

Much Respect and admiration for a creative and talented writer,

Sincerely,

Tim

Nell Rose from England on October 07, 2018:

Very interesting. I love different languages and cultures. always have done. I tried learning Jewish ages ago and came to a complete stop because I just couldn't get it! lol! so I went to french instead!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 07, 2018:

Very cool Tim. I just love languages. We are good at English around here but also working on Spanish and Vietnamese. I can converse in Spanish but basically just understand Vietnamese. Living in France I got that down, many years ago. Vermont English is one of the toughest ;-) I was reading about epistemology today. What a fertile field.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 07, 2018:

Thank you, Pamela,

Another interesting statistic I ran across was that about every two weeks a language disappears from humanity. When I started this poem, I was considering that fact. Having Native American and African ancestors, I often ponder their languages and were their words and expressions for things that may have disappeared from us. But I suspect we will always figure out a way to express ourselves.

Thanks for the comment.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 07, 2018:

This is a fascinating article. I really enjoyed all the facts you presented about languages. I think your poetry was good as well, and produced many images inside my head. I like the way you included your Savior.

I took Spanish in school, but I am certainly not fluent. I can't imagine being the last person of my tribe to speak my language.