papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Howard Earl Gardner (1943-) Frames of Mind (1983-2011) The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Linguistic Intelligence

It is true the white man can fly; he can speak across the ocean; in works of the body he is indeed greater than we, but he has no songs like ours, no poets to equal the island singers. A GILBERT ISLANDER

The critic Helen Vendler recalls sitting in on the poetry writing classes of Robert Lowell, where this leading American poet effortlessly recalled the verses of the great poets of the past, occasionally (and always intentionally) improving a line that he felt inadequate. Beholding this linguistic facility, Vendler remarks, “made one feel like a rather backward evolutionary form confronted by an unknown but superior species.” This species—the poet—possesses a relation to words beyond our ordinary powers, a repository, as it were, of all the uses to which particular words have been put in previous poems. That knowledge of the history of language use prepares—or frees—the poet to attempt certain combinations of his own as he constructs an original poem. It is through such fresh combinations of words, as Northrop Frye insists, that we have our only way of creating new worlds.

Tags: Гарднер

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