Brian Tucker introduced this subject on which a great deal has been
written. To the data he is collecting he may want to add something that
came from Palestine today in article on declining number of shepherds there:
"Ahmed Abyyiat, 60, a Muslim...has about 100 sheep and some goats. All of
them have names and they understand him when he calls out. 'As we walk, I
sing and recite poetry, in which I delight, although I hjave never learned
to read or write,' he said."
It would seem obvious that poetry, in a form culturally understood, would
be the stuff of which oral memory is created. Some of the variations in
textually transmitted tradition may reflect the work of memories accustomed
to rhyming or rhythmic retention.
Just a point to mull over.
Philip Lewis, HR Presby Plains & Peaks
574=B Sawmill Cove
Cottonwood AZ 86326