A Very Short Plea to Listen to What You Read

I’ve decided to devote the scant few years left of my teaching career attempting to get readers to sound out the music of language.

I hate that multi-taskers register words as mere mute visual signs while some MP3 drowns out the onomatopoetic echoes that very well might make what they’re reading magical. Like, for example, the auditory drop you physically feel when you read Hardy’s lines, “Down their carved names/The rain drop plows.”

Say it outloud. Feel the drop drop from your palette into the empty air.

musicOr this from “The Waste Land”: “Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop.”

Say it outloud. Eliot’s mimicking the song of the wood thrush.

I hate the idea of a student sitting on a Green somewhere reading Ishmael’s killer opening riff of Moby Dick, his ears plugged with ear buds streaming Nick Drake into a brain that cognitive scientists claim hasn’t fully formed.

That can’t be good for you.