I don’t know how often I consciously think of the connection between sound and poetry, but I do, on some level, acknowledge it. When writing poetry for instance, I turn off any music that may be playing. If I write to music I find myself following it’s beat whether I mean to or not. Unwittingly mimicking the rhythm of whatever music may pulsate in the background. When I revisit it, sans music, I find it to have a stranded quality to it. Abandoned by the sounds present during it’s gestation. For this reason I try and write in a silent environment, so that the poem can develop its own sound, one it maintains no matter what.
I do regret to say that I end up listening to more music than reading poetry. I do both a fair amount, but it’s far harder to read a poem walking to class or while doing work than listening to a song. However, musicians like Lou Reed, who blur the line between music and poetry, offer me a way to enjoy both at the same time, or at least the illusion of doing so.
Easy access to music not only detracts from my reading and writing of poetry but may also detract from my overall experience with music itself. I read stories and accounts where individuals, long deprived of music, have epiphanic experiences when reintroduced to it. People breaking their auditory fast at some classical concert, or quenching their melodic thirst at a jazz bar, and having ecstatic or perspective shifting experiences. Usually such things take place in the days before music became something that could be stowed away within one’s pocket and channeled through chords into the ears. Never deprived of music I worry that I will never fully appreciate it either.
I guess this has been something of a tangent, but I can attempt to justify my rambling by saying that this surplus of sonic stimulation means I could never write poetry on an experience of lacking it. Lately, I’ve been disheartened by thinking about things, such as what I mentioned above, that I will never be able to experience and write about, but that’d be a whole other page of keyboard meandering. I hope that this wasn’t too all over the place, and that it shines some sort of a light on my relationship with sound and poetry.