Midflight digression III Yoon Yong on language (8:37 a.m.)

The 4th poem from my long narrative poem Yoon Yong. (If you go to ‘Korea Poems’ in the menu, you can find the first 3.)
I still keep looking over these, thinking they should be read in a book, but I have yet to take action toward this, I still haven’t quite remedied with myself if this is something that is going to end up with me explaining myself over & over; even defending myself. It is, maybe, a silly feeling; nevertheless I can’t shake it. I feel safe putting them here. So…

Midflight digression III Yoon Yong on language (8:37 a.m.)

…“All language is order wrenched from disorder.”
There should have been a God of Context. “That’s just God.”

Who gives a toss about gods of boots or wine
—we need a whole new pantheon for the contemporary world.

The entropy of language is a crutch.
There are immense amounts of information

down the plughole in the redundancy
of letters | in predictability without vowels

: Clrdge sd smthng bt tht smwhr.
At least a word without vowels in English

still manages to retain sense: in Korean | a character
without a vowel completely throws the balance off

—vowel harmony means sticks without stones.
Hangul looks like a catalogue of perimeters

ㅁ |ㅇ & ㅅ from which to survey & imprison ㅕㅑ
—the panopticon terrified me with its squint.

English offered an exit from those constricting symbols |
comparing dictionaries “mine’s bigger than yours.”

The volume of words in English peaked my curiosity.
The mysteries of an alien language’s deeper shades

felt like an admiral sailing into blank spaces on a map
— I cannot express the extent of my regret for that naivety.

Language is never the thing itself.
Every conversation is a fiction of sorts | especially anecdotes.

News correspondents are a good example
: they report the news just like the anchor does | the anchor could

report all of the news but then we’d likely doubt
the credibility of the reportage because there is no locale.

The same reason we take so many photographs these days
—they back us up when we are narrating the past |

they prove that we were there & thus are here
—people live a fiction but dare not admit it…

4 thoughts on “Midflight digression III Yoon Yong on language (8:37 a.m.)

  1. Wnjoyed the thoughts here, Daniel. Reminds me of a conversation I had with an academic in Japan, which may be a fiction: the conciseness of their symbols, the many aspects of redundancy in English, and we can so easily achieve a lack of clarity. I am very fond of vowels and the way they sound. In Portuguese, the exclamation “wow” is spelt “uau” which I prefer, but apparently it wouldn’t suit Coleridge.

    1. Vowels are so important in Korean as in Turkish. There is a harmony which means you can’t make a word. Take the Korean word love 사랑, remove thw vowels ㅏㅏㅇ& you just have ㅅㄹ which could be any word with those 2 characters, nobody would necessarily guess it as love. But in English, if I write I lv u. We all know what I mean. I kinda think its cool there is no centre of gravity to English words.

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