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November 09, 2007

Response to RULES, "A RETROSPECT" by EZRA POUND, & HIERARCHIES OF NAVIGATION

The three rules that were laid out for contemporary poetry to follow are:

1) Direct treatment of the thing: Explaining exactly what it is that the poem is addressing, dedicating the poam only to that ‘thing’ and not deviating from it
2) To not use any words that do not contribute to the presentation: Being resourceful with the words used, not distracting the reader with unnecessary words, using the words to keep the poam flow
3) The rhythm should be a musical one, not metronomic: A metronome uses a consistent, dull repetitive beat, music flows, to describe it in the simplest sense, so one must use musical phrases instead of counting syllables to fit the poam into a template

the dreamlife of letters is a poam, so the rules apply in different ways than they would for one writing a poem from scratch. Since the author took another piece of work and the poam was a rearrangement and presentation of these words, the author did not have to worry as much about the language aspect. The poam is the presentation of words already used in another piece. The rules it does follow however, are numerous.

This work does not follow any type of metronomic rhythm. The words are strung together in such a way as to be presented in a musical manner. The work also does not flow in such a way that readers get caught up on individual words, but take in the work as a whole. Readers are carried between words through the many forms of transitions between the words, the letter trailing in and trailing out, letters flying in to form words in the middle of the screen. It utilizes a musical flow instead of having words just appear and disappear.

The object of the poam was to present the words in a new way than had been done before, by alphabetizing them and then presenting them in digital form. Since the ‘thing’ that the work is supposed to be addressing is the words them self, the author does not stray off topic, but keeps to the point in the simplest manner possible.

My best description of this poam would be to say that it takes the ‘vers libre’ form to the extreme. The verses, as I see them, are the words that fall under each letter, but there is no discrimination as to how long the word is or what the word sounds like. Each verse is allowed to come together in its own way.

Posted by ndjames at November 9, 2007 06:47 PM

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