Out of Time
by, 06-24-2007 at 02:12 PM (510 Views)
One of my silent presumptions concerning gifted prose/poetry is that behind the word curtain an unspoken rhythm pulses forth, carrying each syllable along like a flowing river. Not surprisingly, I discovered this unrecognized belief while working on a poem. A certain phrase struck me as odd, and as I labored over it, trying to find the right combination of words to please my ear. When finally I arrived at some semblance of acceptability, I sat back and asked myself "Why" the first combination of words weren't sufficient. I then discovered that the piece - a poem I had written - had a particular cadence to it, and as I read it aloud I patted my leg to test the theory. Though some words occured in "the spaces in between", it kept a steady rhythm, and I realized that I had always been hearing this music - whether in my earlier days when my poetry most resembled the Beat Poets - or currently when I most approximate those "days of yore" we call classical/lyrical poetry.
Consequently I understood my reason for despising Modernism: it doesn't sing. It doesn't play the piano. It doesn't dance. And for these absences, every modern bit of prose/poetry to me is like a factured mirror of cognitive chaotic dissonance, like a 3 year old child with a drum and two sticks, banging away in complete ignorance.
I am not saying Modernism has no redeemable quality, but rather, like Southern Fiction, it does not appeal to me. If I can't dance or sing to it, it more or less disrupts my mental rhythm. (Granted, not everything singable or danceable is good; one can dance to Brittany Spears or Justin Timberlake, yet it is talentless inferior bubble-gum music. In some ways, then, Modernism trumps the kitsch that oftentimes appears under this description).
Now, today, while perusing British Literature (for my teacher's examination) I stumbled upon this bit of wisdom in Wikipedia:
Here is yet another quality that places me squarely in with the Romantics, a bygone era of beauty and artistic brilliance. If the Buddhists are right, then I am merely a reborn, throw-forward poettaster from that blissful period.Alliteration gained considerable popularity during the Romantic era, as the Romantics were interested in writing poetry with a musical quality, and in the ancient tradition of their native languages.
And I wonder why I live here at all, when it's clear my time is not now, nor later, but before, back then, previously. Truth is, my time has already passed, and I am merely living out post-mortem days of cultural incongruence.