15 May 2009

mammalized chiffon sachets

Zukofsky says, in A Test of Poetry, that about the only thing in Keats he values is the four-syllable sequence "hedge crickets sing" from Ode to Autumn. My friend Tenney Nathanson thinks that's not quite fair, for, while also applauding that mini-sequence, Nathanson believes you can take almost any string of four syllables in that Keats ode and have a memorably sounded orchestra of consonants and vowels.

Somehow I was thinking of this while reading Lisa Chen's marvelous 2007 book, Mouth (Kaya Press). And here are some brief snippets demonstrating her soundings.
cocktail boozer slurring
punctilio metropolis
tin cup rakes
mammalized chiffon sachets
weathercock pirouettng
cellophane Easter
fist or shiv
piazza, pavilion, please
atlases bereft
pudding's curdled
creature's breast feathers
Parachute girls
tangerine cream couches
casks of fish oil
Motel soap: god's milk tooth
mess of feathers like a pigeon
bows on a bullfighter's slippers
a sea with a stream of piss
peanuts balanced against their hips
mulberry, razzle
jiggle the knobs
wired like brows diving
Ducks tippling

Not by any means all 4-syllables, nonetheless . . .

Thanks Linh Dinh for praising Lisa Chen's book. Because of your remark on the back cover, Cynthia bought it for me, thus I read it, and, even more than the ear-pleasure noted above, a terrific book!


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