All the talk about the poetic ear in various blogs leads me to reflect: We lack a vocabulary in which to talk about prosody. Much about the way we "hear" is determined by the meaning of the words. We cannot really "hear" poetry in language we cannot understand. All Russian sounds the same to me, though I'm sure in Russian, to Russian ears, there is an infinite variety. We hear non-sense verse as non-sense, that is, as poetry playing along the edges of sense. The way I hear Clark Coolidge's line "and allow back the whelm tamp of stacks" is affected by the unusualness of the word "whelm" used as an adjective, or at least in adjectival position: it has a heavier stress, read as a noun. Coolidge does this all the time. My feeling here is that the word "tamp" is used because of its sound: therefore sound is placed in the foreground. This would not be the case for reader ignorant of English. Even to function as an onomatopeia we have to already know what it means! I don't really hear the "Spanishness" of poetry written in Spanish anymore. I only hear the individual "voice." In French, I am about half-way. I can hear distinctions, yet the "Frenchness" of the language is still there for me as an independent quality, whelming my reading.