My favorite bit: “it’s a strange, primal kind of magic, the way sound and rhythm turns words into not-quite-music but not-quite-just-words anymore”
When was the last time you read Wallace Stevens’ “The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words?” If the answer is “not recently,” or (worse!) “never”, get thee to a library or your preferred book retailer (or the one that will send you stuff in two days?) and fix it! Fix it fix it fix it!
For me, sound is the deal-breaker in poetry, as it seems to have been for Stevens (“…above all else, poetry is words; and that words, above all else, are, in poetry, sounds”):
The deepening need for words to express our thoughts and feelings which, we are sure, are all the truth that we shall ever experience, having no illusions, makes us listen to words when we hear them, loving them and feeling them, makes us search the sound of them, for a finality, a perfection, an unalterable vibration, which is only within the…
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