Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Kick start the golden generator

I am not sure if the left brain/right brain idea is an accurate one. That is, I'm not sure that the human mind can be envisaged as a simple binary opposition, nor that this division is, so to speak 'geographical' in nature. On the other hand, I am pretty certain that the mind can operate in different modes, which I imagine like radio frequencies, which coexist but carry different types of information. However, I'll use left brain and right brain as shorthand. I'm sorry this post sounds so prissy and pedantic, but I'm trying to pin down an idea that I think is interesting.



So, in reading words, we engage a linear temporal function, that some have described as 'logical' or 'left brain'. It seems to me that poetry, and I suppose all good writing to some extent, manages to simultaneously engage the non-linear 'right brain' function. The feeling of having both sides working together is exhilirating. Kick start the golden generator.

I've noticed that you can speed this process up, or amplify it, by listening to music while you read a poem. And the funny thing is, it can be absolutely awful music. I'm talking 'S Club 7'. That's how I'm so certain it isn't the actual music that gives the pleasure, but simply the presence of something that opens up the right brain.

Perhaps this is why the ancient poets, like Homer for instance, or the author of Beowulf, played music as they recited their poems.

Also I get this effect in the opposite direction from pop music with clever words. I'm thinking Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Radiohead, and (my latest obsession)the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The lyrics aren't brilliant poetry in themselves, but they are good enough in combination with the music to engage the brain at multiple levels and I get a big sort of golden flash.

The title of the post, and indeed the name of this live journal, come from the Chilli's song that gives me the best jolt along these lines at the moment.
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