How to Value Individuality and Create an Enstatic School
Chapter 6: Alone I Wandered: The Literature and Music of Aloneness
Alone I Wandered:The Literature and Music of Aloneness
Listening to music makes me feel better because I normally play songs where the lyrics are my emotions that I don’t show and it just blocks out the other stuff— CAROLINE (aged 12–13)
Introduction: Wordsworth Clouds Our Judgement
Wordsworth wrote ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’, and this is the best known use of the word ‘lonely’. I am convinced, myself, that he did not use the word in its modern sense. He was talking about solitude, more than loneliness. The poem would be read more accurately by modern audiences if it started ‘Alone I wandered as a cloud’. (More on Wordsworth, below.) There are such traps set for those studying the arts, that it is a perilous journey. Worthwhile, though. A simple activity can bring out the complexity of the meanings of the language of aloneness. Interestingly, in French there is no separate word for ‘loneliness’. The word ‘seul’, in French, means being alone, and is similar to the English words ‘solitude’ and ‘loneliness’. ‘Seul’ doesn’t say whether being alone is good or bad. What does this mean for French loneliness? A double translation can help us explore some of the complexities. This involves translating a word into another language, and then back into the first language. For example, using an online translation programme, the word ‘lonely’ is translated into French as ‘solitaire’ (itself translated back into a number...
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