The Meaning of Words

Last night I was thinking that I would start a poem out with the statement that I have always wanted to use the word “undulate” in a poem.

Undulate means:

to move with a sinuous or wavelike motion; display a smooth rising-and-falling or side-to-side alternation of movement.

Or having a wavelike or rippled form, surface, edge, etc.; wavy.

So, in other words, undulate is all around us.

Really, I just rediscovered the word in a book of poems by Spanish poet Frederico Garia Lorca. I didn’t even make it all the way through the poem before I wanted to write my own. I find that good poetry and good music always make me want to do it myself rather than read about somebody else doing it.

It is the process of being inspired.

I guess I have always wanted to talk about Lenny Bruce as well.

He was a comedian back in the day who ran afoul with the law for some of the words he used in his act. He got so entangled in the process of fighting city hall that he drove himself deeper into the drugs and depression that he was already prone to.

He was a New York Jew and was a very funny and hip guy long before it was cool to be a comedian. One thing I remember about Lenny was that he loved words and what they meant….he used many for the shock value and that is what ultimately got him into trouble.

One of his bits about words went something like this: Words and images evoke certain emotions. If you raise the American flag and I view it all wavy and such…I get this feeling of pride that wells up in me. I won’t get that same feeling if you raised up a wash cloth on that same flag pole. (or something to that effect)

However, I began to wonder if words and images can be corrupted and to what degree we can know the purity of something.

I bought a record by Rokia Traore, a Mali singer. One of the songs was about how much harm the African native belief in polygamy brought women. How it demeaned them. Most of her songs are about real stuff…people’s feelings, living with one another in harmony, thanks to God and so forth. I only mention this because I like to know what I am listening to even though I don’t speak the Mali language. It’s almost like glossalalia. But that’s another story.

Anyway, she has a great voice and the record is upbeat and very catchy tune-wise. So, when I clicked on her web site and saw her dancing (all wild and undulating), I wondered if this came from the same place as the belief in monagamy came from. Or if my mind had been reduced to seeing this dance freedom from a western perspective and therefore with some sexual connotation. I agree that dance, like art a music, has been used to entice and sell products.

I guess I will never truly know what her inner motives are. But at this point, until I do, I don’t want to paganize everything that I don’t fully understand or that makes me feel a little uneasy. Pagans dance for one reason….the college girl in church during a worship service dances for another. What I do with it is up to me.

If there is something I don’t understand I generally ask questions. That’s the ride that I am on today. It’s a little rainy some times…but when the sun does shine…watch out.

 

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2 Responses to The Meaning of Words

  1. greatcinema says:

    In Africa it’s summer or winter now?

  2. Amelia says:

    Spureior thinking demonstrated above. Thanks!

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