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The Language of Life

by Bill Moyers

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408None45,275 (4.29)5
"Poets live the lives all of us live," says Bill Moyers, "with one big difference. They have the power--the power of the word--to create a world of thoughts and emotions other can share. We only have to learn to listen." In a series of fascinating conversations with thirty-four American poets, The Language Of Life celebrates language in its "most exalted, wrenching, delighted, and concentrated form," and its unique power to re-create the human experience: falling in love, facing death, leaving home, playing basketball, losing faith, finding God. Listening to Linda McCarriston's award-winning poems about a child trapped in a violent home, or to Jimmy Santiago Baca explaining how words changed his life in prison, or to David Mura describing his Japanese American grandfather's experience in relocation camps, or to Sekou Sundiata stitching the magic of his childhood church in Harlem to the African tradition of storytelling, or to Gary Snyder invoking the natural wonder of mountains and rivers, or to Adrienne Rich calling for honesty in human relations, all testify to the necessity and clarity of the poet's voice, and all give hope that from such a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and religious threads we might yet weave a new American fabric. "'Listen,' said the storytellers of old, 'listen and you shall hear,'" explains Bill Moyers. The Language Of Life is a joyous, life-affirming invitation to listen, learn, and experience the exhilarating power of the spoken word.… (more)

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"Poets live the lives all of us live," says Bill Moyers, "with one big difference. They have the power--the power of the word--to create a world of thoughts and emotions other can share. We only have to learn to listen." In a series of fascinating conversations with thirty-four American poets, The Language Of Life celebrates language in its "most exalted, wrenching, delighted, and concentrated form," and its unique power to re-create the human experience: falling in love, facing death, leaving home, playing basketball, losing faith, finding God. Listening to Linda McCarriston's award-winning poems about a child trapped in a violent home, or to Jimmy Santiago Baca explaining how words changed his life in prison, or to David Mura describing his Japanese American grandfather's experience in relocation camps, or to Sekou Sundiata stitching the magic of his childhood church in Harlem to the African tradition of storytelling, or to Gary Snyder invoking the natural wonder of mountains and rivers, or to Adrienne Rich calling for honesty in human relations, all testify to the necessity and clarity of the poet's voice, and all give hope that from such a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and religious threads we might yet weave a new American fabric. "'Listen,' said the storytellers of old, 'listen and you shall hear,'" explains Bill Moyers. The Language Of Life is a joyous, life-affirming invitation to listen, learn, and experience the exhilarating power of the spoken word.

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