16 jul. 2004

What is it about Coolidge's poetry that suggests that he is a drummer?
He's written about it himself, and my observations wouldn't add much.
Not to get too technical, but it's about a way of "feeling" time go by. That
push-pull of playing in relation to the beat. Every poet has a metrical
signature, a distinctive way of articulating time through language. This
might sound vague, but I think I can describe it with some precision.
Jordan's 10-year old memory of it is pretty accurate, actually.

It's not about meter per se. Its about the rhythmic phrasing in
relation to the phonological structure of the language. A word
used as another part of speech, noun as adjective, verb as noun,
creates a sort of syntactic "hiccup" which is felt rhythmically. He
is also fond of grouping stresses together, two or three at a time:

"the stone's last lap."

"The brought back beast shuns the hands" [four stresses in a row!]

"A red sun bursts"

I could draw little phonological trees to show you how this is done, but
I can't on this blog. (I need to get a scanner.)
He has read his Beckett and his Kerouac, strong
rhythmic influences on him.

More later, my girls are back from swimmng.