Now I Will Do Nothing But Listen

25 Oct

I think we should do more listening tasks in class. In foreign language classes I’ve attended it was very rare to hear a dialogue, a song, a poem, a bit of newscast, or sound effects. Sound is so important, and so easy to bring to the class!  Maybe American poet Walt Whitman would agree.

Here’s what he wrote in Leaves of Grass.  I have made a musical recording of the section.  For in-class use, you might want to introduce students to the tough words first, like “accrue” and “fused.”

Now I will do nothing but listen
To accrue what I hear into this song.
To let sounds contribute toward it.
I hear the sound I love.
The sound of the human voice.
I hear all sounds running together,
Combined, fused or following.
Sounds of the city.
Sounds out of the city.
Sounds of the day and night.

Sounds in this song downloaded from FreeSound.