As the worldwind blows! | Daily News


As the worldwind blows!

The term ‘world’ its initial meaning has changed over the years, with the use of additional terms interlinked. Some of them go as ‘worldwide’, ‘world figure’, ‘ world record’ etc. Some linguists say that they have often tended to change even the conceptual meanings that could be read into it. But the term ‘worldwind’ still lurks in mystery as I see it used as a word that bears a metaphoric poetic use to denote the collection or an assortment of various sources and/or various cultures.

I came across this term as a title of a supplementary reader as used in several American and English schools where different kinds of literary genres are taught. The book I have before is titled as Worldwind subtitled as the key text programme as compiled by four educationists: an advisory author and a linguistic consultant.

Creative and scientific

The text is printed first appeared before the teachers of literature as far back as 1982. The contents are categorised into eight sections with different themes and subject matter. They are ‘turning point’, ‘secrets of the deep’, ‘out of the blue’, ‘reaching higher’, ‘breakthrough’, ‘city songs’, ‘craft corner’, and ‘a circle in time’. Each of these sections is selected with care packed with both creative and scientific subject matter culling from the cities, urban dwellings and various other cultures. Most of them have appeared before the publication of the text in perhaps little known sources.

The educationist cum research team had been extremely careful in their selections taking into account the various ethical ethoses into considerations. One good example comes from the selection of several poems of the American Black poet Langston Hughes that helps the reader to gauge the way the poetic vision works in a multi-racial society. One good example is the poem Kid in the Park goes as follows.

Lonely little question mark

On a bench in the park:

See the people passing by?

See the airplanes in the sky?

See the birds

Flying home



The home’s just around the corner

There –

But not recalled anywhere.

Poetry, as learned educationist cum compilers state, is a special way of expressing the creator’s interpretation of the world ‘around’ us.

Yet another example comes from Langston Hughes that goes as follows. The title of the poem is I am crying from thirst.

I am crying from thirst

I am singing for rain

I am dancing for rain

The sky begins to weep.

For it sees me

Singing and dancing

On the dry, cracked earth.

Age-old theme

Besides, these creations the compilers have attempted to introduce some of the gems are the folk legend that comes from Japan titled as ‘The Crane Girl’ as retold by a Japanese writer, Daiiji Kawasaki. The legend is both ancient as well as modern. It rests on an age-old theme of a crane that was rescued by a poor man when it gets trapped between two rocks. The crane who comes in the guise of a young girl, informs that she is in a position to weave beautiful and rich-looking silk garments.

Her name is Karen who informs the two old-aged couple not to see her in action. But later on, the reader finds that the crane girl who works at the loom though brings luck to them leaves them, not due to any fault of hers. But it was mainly due to the inquisitive nature of the old woman who peeped into the room. The crane girl comes to know of them and leaves them with a decisive measure saying ‘dear people’. She said in a weak voice.

“I am the crane you saved by the lake in the park. I wanted to help you by weaving cloth for you to sell,” she began to cry.

“But now that you know, I will have to leave.”

I felt that this Japanese legend on reading in English helps clarify some of the literary nuances as found in teaching and appreciation. The narrative is a fantasy that touches the layers of a fairytale as well as a tale of vision as taught by religious leaders down the centuries. It is a common legacy.

The reader, whether a teacher or a student comes across true stories that have caused certain well-known explorations and discoveries. On the Edge is one such example where a young man tries to reach the summit of a hill. He faces both fear and ill-trained manners. But ultimately the explorer discovers the latent skill within himself. Craft Corner is a section devoted to various types of exercises in skill and experimentations, one could perform with the material one could find easily around.

Cut apart

Quilting is one example presented in this section. As stated, quilting has come to America with the very first settlers. As cloths wore out, they were cut apart. The good pieces were saved and sewn together and then quilted. These quilts are called patchwork. The reader finds that soon the people making quilts began to notice that pretty designs could be made of certain shape were combined and colours were blended.

This lesson, if it could be cited in that term, helps the teacher as well as the student to learn by oneself the basic art of designing that leads to the farfetched lessons in semiotics. All in all, the compilation perhaps leads to a self-training process making use of the theory and practice in communication.

Visit Sri Lanka's Largest online shop. Over 125,000 unique categories such as Fresh Flowers, Cakes, Food, Jewllery, Childrens Toys and other Sri Lankan e-commerce categories. Low delivery cost to most cities here and free delivery in Colombo.


Add new comment