Having been to a Referendum meeting last night, this poem reflects on how much our ability with language marks us out as different from other living creatures. It is something we can easily overlook, but the smallest occasion, a meeting of around 100 people, with speakers and listeners, is still a marvel, a living miracle. We are just so used to that we take it for granted...
I find myself a comfortable seat
Awaiting the talks with eager ears
Speakers make points, a verbal beat
It is good natured, no one jeers
Alas! There is no Parliament of Owls
Bears having picnic in the wood
A dog does not debate, it only growls
How different we are that we could!
It goes with notice, this amazing feat
Communication, arguments, and talk
And someone makes the odder Tweet
Language makes us, we don't squawk
I watch the miracle of humankind unfold
In just one meeting, if truth be told.
André Maurois knew the problem - Maurois was a quotable French author of the early 20th century. One quote of his that came very much to mind on a couple of occassions last week is (in...
1 day ago