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Terreson Profile
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Implicate rhythm


Let me see if I can do this, explain a prosodic thing I call implicate rhythm, something it is possible I've invented. I want a record of this, want to get it down, understand with my head what my body knows without needing to intellect. First a poem made in the manner of implicate rhythm, perhaps the purest expression of what I've managed in the manner.


 In High Ravine

In dark matter sleep the big cat keeps,
the spirit of cougar circling wide the
mountainside when touches nose to tail,
until moist and rank and warm her breath in
high wood ravine whose dream is stream
become cloud of billows bodying the night.

In night of year, of dark matter year
below close snow crop at tor of top,
and up under air that pushes past
the she cat whose eyes intrude, inturn
upon people of animal council
sporing whose flesh in fur she means return.

Big cat climb through dank fell of time
when earth wins swimming in her brain,
to molten melt of furious motion
drawing out and in on patternings to press,
when future of memory glazes again
created of present purpose to mend.

Or then when comes silver boy whose
indigo peace hears and holds and hears the
lion sleep, coming up on her, curling into her
until she speaks the spell of
dream worlds drawing in on the sun
and quartz stone stars and moons with dance;

keeping there, keeping graceful through
the gestate of gloom moving in on
unfathom to firsting frontier of
gravid mountain, of shifting plate, of
ocean resonate, the birthing field and
spherical smooth in widest swirl of journey.

And cougar comes down when ready.



The poem has a number of elements I took from Hopkins's notion of sprung rhythm, which notion he took from Old English, the Anglo-Saxon stuff around before the Classical prosodic rules of the Mediterranean area made its incursions into northern Europe with its insistence on quantified syllables. It relies heavily on metrical stress and pause used accentually, but not regularly. On assonance, alliteration, consonant breaks. Hopkins also relied a lot on what he called hangers or outriders in his lines. One to three slack syllables at the end of a line so quiet they do not get counted in the nominal scanning. Usually articles the ear does not hear. Does not need to hear. Then there is roving over and hovering stress, means by which to stretch out the accented sound. Finally, Hopkins used what they call vers libres, verse freed of regular rhyme patterns and, as such, rhyme irregular, sometimes internal, other times punctuated over the space of two or three lines. What is distinctive here is that the rhythmic line is breath based in stress and pause, not involving the count or quantification of metrical stress and pause as in, say, iambic pentameter.

This is what I took from Hopkins. Probably I wouldn't have had I not already been predisposed to the same inclinations. I've always been a vers libres type while also more into Anglo-Saxon prosodic rules. Hopkins just gave me the precedent.

In quantuum physics there is a theory, mathematically expressed and I think disproved, called implicate reality. Its intention is to try to reconcile physics at the quantuum level with physics understood at the larger level of mass and energy. The Einsteinean level. Not sure why but I found poetry in the theory. One day it came to me. I was living in a deep forest, a place where the bio-mass is layered, stratified, more than it is stretched out to the horizon. One line, rhythmically and metrically, should preceed, and get succeeded by, the next line in a manner I can only describe, metaphorically, as tectonicly involving subduction and uplift. One line should both rhythmically and metrically implicate the next. That is what I came to.

I came to the notion sometime in the early 90s. Almost 20 years ago. After a while I thought: Man, you got to leave this !@#$ behind. I tried, succeeded, made a bunch of poems mannerly different. But I keep coming back to it. Implicate rhythm.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Mar/24/2013, 8:48 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Implicate rhythm


Hi Tere,

I don't know much about sprung rhythm or quantuum physics, so I'm going to have to go with my gut on this one. When I read S1 of "In High Ravine," I can feel the circling movement of the cat in the lines. In fact, it's almost dizzying the way the rhythm and rhymes play off each other. I feel as if the poet/shaman is inhabiting the lion, the silver boy, perhaps nature itself in someway hard to explain. And I can almost physically feel something in my own brain and vision (literal and figurative) shifting. Maybe the langauge is creating a kind of trance in me. Or is de-trancing me, as the case may be, from one perception of reality and shifting me into another way of seeing. It reminds me of a time many years ago when I experienced a kind of awakening that took me out of my normal ways of thinking and moved me into a more primal way of sensing. In that state, it seemed to me, that nature was communicating with me directly in ways it must have communicated with the Celts or Native Americans, for example. Either that, or I went a little crazy. Maybe both. emoticon

(Should "would" in S1L5 be "wood"?)
Feb/9/2013, 3:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Implicate rhythm


Thanks for pointing out the typo, Kat. Now fixed. If your response is what the poem succeeds to then I deem it a success. I'll borrow from Hopkins again. Something I've likely mentioned before more than once. He said everything, every object, animate or inanimate, has its own inscape; a kind of interiority living a life of its own, independent of what is outside it. A Jesuit, he saw an object's inscape as proof of his God's divinity. I think it no great leap to see in his notion what all animists know. But he took it a step further. What keeps an object's inscape bound up, tight like a coil, within its own orbit so to speak, is its instress. Way back when I realized that a poem too is an object, a thing, thus subject to the same laws.

Tere
Feb/9/2013, 5:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Playing around, getting ready to get ready for the week, I came upon this thread, barely remembered. I thought it must be pretty old. Then discovered it is not yet 2 months old. I'll be so glad when this chemo brain effect lets off. Of, course, by then I'll be old enough to worry about dementia. What's that old saying? If it ain't one thing it's your mother?

I've tweaked my definition a little, refined and added to. Of course, it has to be clear the extent to which the notion relies on Hopkins. And on vers libres. Maybe all I've managed to is how each line rhythmically implicates the next.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Mar/24/2013, 8:46 pm
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Re: Implicate rhythm


I have something to add to the thread. Came to the board thinking I would start a different thread involving poetry, internal rhythms, and music in the ear. Chanced upon this thread and have decided to go with my thoughts here. In the back of my brain there is the half-memory I've put up already what I'm about to say. If that is the case, someone please tell me. Chemo-brain is a !@#$. But here goes.

Stephen Spender did a fine critical biography on T.S. Eliot. Spender not only a poet in his own right but a younger contemporary of Eliot's. He said that when he read Eliot's Ash Wednesday he could hear Beethoven's late 4 Quartets. He said he wrote to Eliot and told him as much. Eliot's response was to say that, in fact, he was looking to take what he found in Beethoven's 4 quartets and put it into poetry. Of course, everyone knows Eliot's own Four Quartets.

Not too long ago on FB I read an exchange between young poets. It went this way: When I'm writing I like to listen to blah blah blah. Oh, that is so cool. When I'm writing I listen to this other blah blah blah. And so forth.

It wasn't a conversation I could enter into. To me poetry is auditory. I have to hear my line rhythms, my cadences, my metrics, my syllables, my plosives, fricatives, and sibilants. I have to hear my words. Otherwise they lack in sensuality.

Tere
Jul/7/2013, 9:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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