Sounds are the basis of poetry, not the pursuit of some glorious combination of them, but sounds as just a reality. The fact that it is an inexplicable reality should make us want to learn about sounds, because not wanting to is like being a blindfolded painter. A blind painter would be more respected, than someone who has no desire to lift an ear to poetry fully conscious of its fleeting sounds.
The Blind Poet Can Suddenly See
If our hypothetical blind poet suddenly gained sight, the first thing he would be made aware of is the structure of poetry, lines, and stanzas.
Followed by a more close examination revealing words, differing line lengths, same line lengths, rhyme, and refrain.
In his excitement he might delve deeper and see: syllables, types of rhyme, and repeating words, before whipping out the magnifying glass and finding: stressed and unstressed syllables, alliteration, assonance, consonance, breath pauses, perfect rhyme, general rhyme, identical rhymes, eye rhymes, and mind rhymes.
In a fit of beautiful madness he might go out and buy a microscope and lay the poem beneath the eye peace and checkout whats going on down there, and seeing: length of sounds, length of syllables, elision, masculine rhyme, feminine rhyme, dactylic rhyme, syllabic rhyme, imperfect rhyme, weak rhymes, semirhyme, oblique rhyme, half rhyme, pararhyme,
And at this point, our once blind poet begins to fall down the rabbit hole, and sees patterns and connections between sounds and how they slow or speed up reading, how also sounds can be made to mimic shapes, images, and other things. He would also see homophones and a multiplicity of meaning, how line breaks can make meaning where there was previously none without the structure. And last he would see symbolism, references, and phantom echoes.
I am sure like me and our once blind poet after writing/reading that list you are dizzy and in need of some sort of break from all this. As you can see sound in poetry is a dense topic. It is a hard thing to cover let alone find the angles of entry, but I will do my best to make it less nauseating from here on out.
Unfortunately for me, attacking that list from top down giving definitions will do little for the reader of this. By them selves most of these things are meaningless and only begin to have a passing usefulness when in context, so here goes.
Continues on Alliteration, assonance, and consonance post.
- Bent and BrokenNeither mother, maiden, nor crowne can morn more the passing of this nation
- What Talent We Once HadRemember Lenon and his words, how he sang so eloquently ‘that your still fucking peasants as far as I can see,’
- HeroHe’s nobody’s hero, the man that wakes at dawn, the bagger that packs bags ’till swole with groceries.
- LullabyWe are living in Orwell’s mind, while Huxley sings his lullaby
- Build Back BetterDo not believe bankers, princes, or governments; for all their wealth, glittering gold, and grasping at control,
- Please Don’t Send FlowersHe passed away today—or was it days ago,I have not the strength to tell.Anymore, the rose’s petal’s saywhat my words could never:don’t send me more flowers—please don’t affix a card to the lilies,because I have relived his deathwith each wilting lilyand cried more often then a rose in molt.