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Visual Poems: ‘Old Beneventan Melodies in a Breviary’ and ‘Sonnet en Mb’ Journal of American, British, and Canadian Studies

MANSELL, Lisa (2013) Visual Poems: ‘Old Beneventan Melodies in a Breviary’ and ‘Sonnet en Mb’ Journal of American, British, and Canadian Studies. American, British, and Canadian Studies, 20 (1). n/a. ISSN 1841-1487

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My research direction in these poems is to demonstrate innovative advances within traditional form. In particular they are visually innovative pieces that exert a concern for a concrete poetic that is sonically derived, and with a genesis rooted in a creative play with form.
The first sequence, “Old Beneventan Melodies in a Breviary,” begins its formal unfurling in a piece of found material (a strategy common in contemporary fine art)—a notation of old Beneventan melodies. The poem is composed using linguistic transcription of these signs in relation to their formal position on the stave, and thus combine the sonic and the visual origins of the found material. The form of the notation on the score has been transliterated and reconfigured linguistically; its territory re-mapped.
The second sequence is a sonnet ‘after’ Mallarmé’s ‘Sonnet en Yx (Ses Purs Ongles…)’. Formal repetitions of ‘mb’ cascade visually down the page to emphasise the materiality of language. Via the visual, it is hoped that one never forgets that the words are also sounds. The visual and the sonic are inescapably entwined. The second part of the poem is a cut-up composed of a typewritten version that serves to extend the boundaries of the poem as it spills over into new intratextual territory.
Both sequences are concerned with the merger of old and new: the first ‘Beneventan’ form is a transliteration from old Beneventan melodies found in a breviary. The resultant poem is formally and linguistically innovative. The second sequence is a sonnet which is re-mapped visually to draw attention to the physicality of language. The typewritten section emphasizes a bringing together of old and new in the tools of process.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies > Journalism, Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Lisa MANSELL
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2013 09:17
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2013 16:03

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