"Language is the mirror of a people"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Loss of minor languages is a universal loss

Submitted: April 19, 2008

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Submitted: April 19, 2008



Preternatural memories evoke,

“Die Sprache ist der Spiegel dem Volk”,

reflecting back experiences primordial;

as into that mirror they communal look,
so for them

the focal point of their

collective soul.


For she herself who

to the ground of her ethnicity

is closely bound

very clearly knows

what she wants and thinks,

never writing phrases

indistinct .

Native languages are the peoples’ hearts.

What love,



and passion’s heat

this heart a people do excise,

when their language

all eradicated is.

Poorest language in humanity’s

many-faceted linguistic mix

the demise of which,

our collective loss,

a voice under heaven

by unidirectional traffic ruined;

the obliteration of each

in this space
wherein humanity resides.


Bereft are that people

of great ideas

where no words exists

in their own voices.

Such omission

fair dulls the flow

of innovations,

and clouds entire

peoples’ hearts.

The limits of their language


the limits of their world,

thus how cruel the lives

of genius cramped,

and clarity of  intellectual

passions confused -

when a language dies.


James Gagiikwe © 2008


Poem based on quotes from: Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, and Schiller.  Thanks to two multilingual friends for sparking the idea for the poem.

Would someone please correct my poor German!


© Copyright 2017 James Gagiikwe. All rights reserved.