Gioia on Mystery

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

As an artist, I learned something else from the Latin hymns—that art is mysterious. It reaches us in ways we don’t fully understand. The literal sense of a song or a poem is only part of its meaning. Physical sound and rhythm exercise a power of enchantment that eludes paraphrase. Our intuition often outpaces our intellect, and music anticipates meaning. He who sings prays twice, sometimes unaware.

–Dana Gioia, “Singing Aquinas in L.A.”

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