In an essay titled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Flow,” David Jauss coined (I believe) the term “rhythmic mimesis,” which pretty much describes everything I love about language. And guitars. And Steve Earle.
Delete the word “risen” from the translation, and one of the most beautiful examples of this, in the English language, is Isaiah 60:1 (King James Version):
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Think about it. Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is upon thee. You can’t repeat that three times without stomping your foot and hearing a blues rhythm. It’s impossible.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people:
but the Lord shall arise upon thee,
and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Seriously. It’s even got a built-in hook. Why hasn’t some rapper just recorded passages from the Bible with an organ and a church choir snapping their fingers? Call me, Kanye. I want my name on that Grammy.