I am reading a book by Mutlu Blasing entitled Lyric Poetry: The Pain and Pleasure of Words. It’s a bit dense in parts. Clunky of sorts. But it does meticulously propose with unctuous prose what the “I” intentionally constructs as subjectivity and sense. Here’s an excerpt from early on:
The signifier is indeterminate or unstable, and this indeterminacy is a matter not just of a figural complexity of layered meanings but of new senses being generated out of sound affinities. Alternate subliminal meanings and arguments can run along a sequence of rhymes or sound-related words, whether systematized or not; such syntactic liberties as inversions or sentence fragments – which may themselves be partly serving the formal imperatives of meter, rhyme, and sound patterns – facilitate this production of surplus sense.
I find myself rereading sentences and paragraphs just to ensure I can follow… and I share with friends who responded:
Beautiful – and I think I get the concept of sound affinities and how they can generate new senses – never thought about it but sort of sensed it. I will have something to ponder on my favourite XpuHa beach (“X” is pronounced sort of like “sch” in say – marshall – Xpu “early in the morning” almost dawn”, while “ha” means something moist, could be water. Here is a sound affinity for you. Yes, I am off to Mexico […]
And for some reason I am reminded of Kenneth Goldsmith being interviewed by Brooke Gladstone.
The voice hydrates the driest of texts. At the White House, I did a, a little set about the Brooklyn Bridge, and I read a short excerpt from Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” and then Hart Crane’s modernist 1930s poem, “The Bridge”, and then I finished up with some traffic reports, that included The Bridge as a bit player, from my book, “Traffic.”
Now, of course, the President and the First Lady were there, and there were Democratic Party donors and arts administrators and senators, and the like. And they kind of quietly sat through the Whitman and they sat through the Crane, you know, the real poetry. But when it came to the traffic reports, the whole room jumped! It was language that they could recognize. It was, it was, you know, their language. The most avant-garde move was the one that excited them the most.
WNYC – On the Media, Transcript
Friday, March 08, 2013
And so for day 1147