Here's a response to the article:
To the Editor:
David Brooks’s column is a strong piece of advocacy for the arts in education. “Metaphors are not rhetorical frills at the edge of how we think,” he writes, paraphrasing James Geary. “They are at the very heart of it.”
And this is what educators know about the importance of the standing, speaking, moving, memorizing, hearing and seeing in an arts curriculum: they are not frills, they are at the heart of learning. They are the nation’s hope for a strong, confident and competitive future.
In our panic over how badly we’ve used our resources, how shortsighted we’ve been, how deeply we’ve gone into debt, we could cut out our hearts.
New York, April 12, 2011
The writer is the actor, performance artist and clown.
What do you think of the role and importance of metaphor in language? The importance of supporting a strong arts curriculum? At dinner tonight, a friend who is an art history professor told us that the outstanding music program at the elementary school in her small hometown in Pennsylvania is being cut. A sad story, and one we hear all too often. After dinner, we went to a terrific musical comedy, "Lucky Stiff," at SMSU. All those singers and actors on stage have had lots of opportunities to develop their talent starting in elementary school and continuing in high school. What happens to talent that is not nurtured? Makes me think of a Langston Hughes poem, "A Dream Deferred," rife with vivid metaphors:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?