Monday, February 9, 2015

LINCOLN SPEAKS: Words That Transformed a Nation (c) By Polly Guerin

President Lincoln by Alexander Gardner
"If walls could speak what would they say?"  Abraham Lincoln for one speaks volumes. Now a new exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum titled "LINCOLN SPEAKS: Words that Transformed a Nation" brings to light Lincoln's skill and command of language. Largely self-taught, he achieved a mastery of the word not only as a writer but as a speaker that helped him win the presidency. This photograph was taken less than two weeks before Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, two-and-a-half years into the Civil war. Here's the scoop!!
   Sources of Lincoln's Language:Throughout history  we have read of men and women of humble means who have brought themselves out of ignorance to high standards of the written and spoken word. However, Lincoln's legacy is an amazing example of how reading the bible, the classics and the plays of Shakespeare can mold one's character with a sense of what is right and wrong. The Morgan exhibition open until June 7th,  gives us an opportunity to explore how his words changed the course of history and defined the true meaning of America's founding principle of human equality. In his writings and speeches---many of which are woven into the historic fabric of America---he vigorously strove to defend the Union and the Constitution, while also salving the wounds of a country torn by civil war.
   The Emancipator: Works on view include photographic portraits, books owned and used by Lincoln. He felt strongly about the injustice of slavery yet he had to be especially cautious when addressing slavery's future. For these reasons Lincoln relied less on the spoken word than the written word as reflected in his carefully crafted and widely circulated public letters. speech manuscripts, military memos, and personal letters to family and friends. He used words penned with a lawyer's precision and a poet's send of rhythm, confidant in their power to persuade an audience..He reread the language of the King James translation of
The Emancipation Proclamation 
the Bible, he revered Shakespeare's plays and sonnets.
  The Commander-in-Chief: Lincoln was not a natural warrior nor had he any real military training and like many other of his pursuits, he had to teach himself about command. Yes, as commander-in-chief he was uncompromisingly clear in laying out military strategy. Lincoln's words circulated in the military camps through publications that addressed the troops. He also spoke to many volunteers individually. They admired the common touch of a president who lacked airs and graces and remained approachable, and mixed kindness with good humor jokes and easy familiarity.
 Lincoln's Words Live On: It is interesting to note that Lincoln's words have lived on through their intrinsic power.  In essence, Lincoln continues to speak to people throughout the world. Mohandas Gandhi recognized in Lincoln a model of nonviolence. In Britain during the Second World War his words stiffened resolve and  Ghanaians used him to legitimize liberation from British colonial rule. When breathed his last. his words could scarcely have been more prescient.
The exhibition,accompanied by a short in-gallery film, features former president Bill Clinton and a group of celebrated authors and scholars who address various aspects of Lincoln's remarkable life and legacy."Why is Lincoln Still Relevant? a conversation with historians takes place on April 28, 6:30 pm. Check other programs on
Ta Ta darlings!!! By delving into the great books of history and honing his skills Lincoln penned works that
inspire today and all the tomorrow's to come.  Fan mail welcome Visit Polly's Blogs on fashion, amazing women, remarkable men and poetry on click on the link in the right-hand column to the Blog of your interest.

No comments:

Post a Comment