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Lilt: a theory of melody

A melody has to catch the ear. A lilt is an up and down movement that has to be asymmetrical or surprising in some way. It can go up, and ...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ginsberg

Ginsberg:
if you get lost in vague ideas and forget that there's any kind of melody and rhythm and forget how funny words can be, and forget to make even a picture then naturally the poetry gets boring. or, you know, nobody wants to read it but if you stick with the picture and some music and some intelligence about the words then naturally there's something to interest, like a little toy puzzle, to interest anyone. And if you do it in your own language, that is with your own rhythms, the way you speak, vernacular, then it's like regular speech of everyday, but all of a sudden heightened by your own intelligence of speech and mindfulness that you're putting into it - extra-picture, extra-pretty-music, and extra-sense to the words. So it's just ordinary mind heightened by a little more awareness, or intelligence, or energy, that you put into it (even more energy that [sic] you put into it)
That's pretty obvious, right? My entire graduate seminar is going to be based on this.

Interestingly, I was reading yesterday something Borges wrote, quoted in an essay by Guillermo Sucre, and Borges just says the logos is the thing. For pictures, go to painting, for music, go to music, he says. I don't agree, but that's a revealing kind of difference from the Lorquian / Poundian poetics of music / image / intelligence all at once to a kind of poetics that Borges favored, or said he did.

Ginsberg keeps repeating the phrase "the dance of the intellect among words." Perloff used that phrase as the title of a book. The late poet and my friend Ken Irby also used the Poundian trilogy of ideas.

Logopoeia linked to the vernacular. That's a powerful idea, since it is much easier to see verbal wit in non-vernacular poetries, based on baroque models, than in more vernacular forms of poetry.

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