I attended a gathering of friends, students, and colleagues yesterday to commemorate the memory of a linguist. He was a lover of Emerson, according to many. In honor of those memories, here is a quote:
Actions arise that must be sung, that will sing themselves.
What do I like about it? One gets a musical impression of the fabric of being: actions and events are sung. It also focuses on the necessity to tell about and “sing” stories about what’s happening. The sense is of the bard, which brings to mind the singer of tales or the cryptic messages of a visionary oracle. But it also brings up the importance of constructing the here and now, the present, and making it meaningful and “eventfull.”
The remark introduced an address at Harvard to the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1837.