Ordinary Language Poetry: A Talking Book
Miriam Atkin, English
Faculty Advisor: Joan Richardson
If throughout poetry’s long history—from its roots in orality to postmodern meta-literature—the poem about the poem has been a chief and persistent convention, I would like in this project to present the oral and aural dimensions of writing in the form of a notated speech about speech. My intention is to generate a group of poems as an audio-book whose contents will attend to, insist upon and preserve the profundity of the everyday utterance. These poems will treat the conversation as a tangible object to be looked at from all sides and re-presented as a poetic sound-composition. I will use found material—casual talk, city noises, etc.—as the focus of a kind of Cubist poetics of everyday speech with which to craft multi-track sound-paintings. The snippets of found material will be in dialogue with scripted speech or will resound behind it so as to create an immersive linguistic environment for which digital editing will do the work of creating depth and expanse. I aim to fabricate a world, one that parallels the ordinary space of everyday activity and its language events, reassembling that space as a new architectural sound-object.