when we start only hearing the sounds of our own voices…the animals lose again

”Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.”~ Carl Sandburg

To be sure, it is fabulous to attempt to be a voice for other species who do not speak the rather strange language of our human species …

However, when we start only hearing the sounds of our own voices…the animals lose again…and that is heartbreaking and tragic.

Is Wisdom a Lot of Language? by Carl Sandburg

Apes, may I speak to you a moment?
Chimpanzees, come hither for words.
Orangoutangs, let’s get into a huddle. …
Baboons, lemme whisper in your ears.
Gorillas, do yuh hear me hollerin’ to yuh?
And monkeys! monkeys! get this chatter–

For a long time men have plucked letters
Out of the air and shaped syllables.
And out of the syllables came words
And from the words came phrases, clauses.
Sentences were born–and languages.
(The Tower of Babel didn’t work out–
it came down quicker than it went up.)
Misunderstandings followed the languages,
Arguments, epithets, maledictions, curses,
Gossip, backbiting, the buzz of the kazoo,
Chit chat, blah blah, talk just to be talking,
Monologues of members telling other members
How good they are now and were yesterday,
Conversations missing the point,
Dialogues seldom as beautiful as soliloquies,
Seldom as fine as a man alone, a woman by herself
Telling a clock, “I’m a plain damn fool.”
Read the dictionary from A to Izzard today.
Get a vocabulary. Brush up on your diction.
See whether wisdom is just a lot of language.

Carl Sandburg, 1953

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