Monday, March 24, 2008

Prophetic Hearing: Nite

Continuing from my post on Feb. 18, “Further Literary Notes,” and the next one on March 19, “A Memorable Fancy,” this post gives an example of building up a poem in multiple layers. It is entitled Nite, and is the fourth in the series “Lanskaeps in Aengziyettee.” It is written in a series of layers, each layer based, not on a constant conceptual substrate, but rather on sound.

Normally we think that a poem’s message is based on one or more (related?) ideas, or built up from images and events, or perhaps even constructed out of rhythm and meter. Normally we don’t think that a poem’s foundation is a body of abstract sounds that we must translate into our known language. Nite works from this latter premise. I have extracted a Divine Melody from the downpouring of my mind, “sounds” that precede words. Have I heard “Messiya kumz” or “Deziyer kums?” I have heard both, and more, and here is what I have extracted from that melodiousness.

Nite: 1st layer

"Yu will see Messiya kum
"An hiz armee a bilderz
"Tu be slotter on the plaenz.
"But all thaer hope iz still uninterrd."

Nite iz kum with its kallus moon.
The perpel figs ar skatterz on the grownd,
Over-ripe. The waggen weelz griend them down,
And he hu iz keeper the orcherd
Iz looz proffet and perpes allike:
     Taengellen branchen in wont ov hevvee pruningz.

Like a wall of shale; like a sheet of slate.
Theze long and eregguler Pardaes hallz.
Beyond the sferen ov moon and sun,
Beyond this ribben ov mezhermen, tuch,
Beyond the sensen ov thot and konshents.
Limmitless nuthinglee shaepless nite.

Akeva taeks hart. "This iz the forres
     "Ware the trael tu Messiya must be fownd.
     "I will not sees till I breeng Him tu don,
     "And leed the pepel tu a Pardaes beyond.

A wall ov shale. The borderz ov nite.

Nite: 2nd layer (incomplete)

Deziyer kumz
With disarmen mieldness,
Plotting withowt planz
And all yur hoeps so still, inferd.

Wut mite kum frum such a kaerless mooding?
Perpel fewgz, dissembel ov sownd.
Outlienz: aggonnee deeplee engraend;
The seekerz ov luv torcherd
With lawz and liez and powetree;
     Taengeld embrasez with a hevvenlee prommis.

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