The Sounds of Poetry הצליל בשירה
MA Seminar סמינר אמ.איי
The emerging field of Sound Studies seeks to expand our awareness of sound – as an acoustic and cultural phenomenon -- to include such topics as urban noise and acoustic ecology, film sound, and the politics of listening. But what is often missing from the conversation is sound in language, and specifically, sound in poetry. Sound comprises an entire stratum of language, but it is a stratum that we often ignore: we may hear what someone is saying, but by hear we normally mean that we comprehend what is being said, maybe even how it is being said, but not the sounds in which it is being said. In poetry, if you listen closely, something of that unacknowledged but subliminally perceived sound stratum may enter your consciousness. Does the sound of poetry communicate to us? Do the sounds express what the poem is ‘saying’? Are they completely independent of sense? How can the sound of the poem provide pleasure? And what are the implications for translating poetry? We will address these questions, and in particular hone close-listening skills, through listening and reading poems of different periods. We will be paying particular attention to the poems’ sonic devices, both the well-known (like rhyme) and the more obscure (like metallic consonants), and spend time on theoretical work that explicitly addresses the issue of sound in verbal art. We will also sample recent poetic work that, in its very creation, is acutely aware of the dimension of sound, whether in its status as “spoken word” or simply as recordings of poets performing their own work.