“Kids use words in ways that release hidden meanings, revel the history buried in sounds. They haven’t forgotten that words can be more than signs, that words have magic, the power to be things, to point to themselves and materialize. With their back-formations, archaisms, their tendency to play the music in words—rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, repetition—children peel the skin from language. Words become incantatory. Open Sesame. Abracadabra. Perhaps a child will remember the word and will bring the walls tumbling down.” ― John Edgar Wideman
John Edgar Wideman (who was born today in 1941) won the PEN/Faulkner Award for both Philadelphia Fire (1990) and Sent For You Yesterday (1983).