Alassin Sane

Alassin Sane


In the year 1988, William Cole's Anthology of Poetry was placed on the "banned" shelf of elementary school libraries in North Kansas City, Kansas, USA because it contained the following poem by Eve Merriam:

     Snickles and podes,
     Ribble and grodes:
     That is what I wish you
     A nox in the groot, A root in the snoot
     And a gock in the forebeshaw too!

I read this and wondered why they would ban such a thing and found the answer to be that, although a nonsensical poem written by noted children's poet/author Eve Merriam, the WAY in which the words SOUNDED "offensive". While completely harmless, made up words to those with the power to ban books (in 1988, mind you!) did so, depriving elementary students of the privilege of reading all the wonderful works in Cole's Anthology.

It was at this discovery that I found the TRUE power of words.

Since reading this, I have done extensive research on the "Turbulent 60's" here in the United States and found such amazing things that words have done.

Think of the protesters at the August 1968 Democratic National Convention. Armed mostly with weapons of words backed by passion regarding the "war in Vietnam", such words led to extreme violence between the police and the protesters. Granted, they used the most powerful words they had at the ready but it started a full blown riot and resulted in the hospitalization of at least 101 police and demonstrators with an approximate 1,000 others being treated and released from the hospital.


When you think of "Sticks and Stones may hurt my bones but words may never hurt me", think again.

It was a barrage of words hurled at the National Guard on May 4, 1970 that resulted in the death of four student protesters (again against the United States involvement in Vietnam).

YES. I think words have GREAT power.

In 1977, David Bowie wrote an eight word question that has had me thinking ever since... these eight words have given me more pause than probably any other words in the English Language:

     "Don't you wonder sometimes 'bout sound and vision?"
     "Don't you wonder sometimes 'bout sound and vision?"

These eight small words posed as this question have taken on a life of their own with me. This question creeps into my subconscious when I least expect it to and I have found myself completely lost when I try and wrap my mind around the whole of it. Even to break it down into its parts:

"Don't you wonder sometimes about sound?" "Don't you wonder sometimes 'bout vision?", can make my head spin and I become removed from my environment at times for hours on end and still I am no closer to exploring all of the intricate nuances of these eight little words so masterfully sculpted into such am incredibly amazing test of ones mental capabilities and ones ability to reason.

BUT... Don't YOU wonder sometimes...?

Alassin Sane.
7th December 2001.

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