Make a beautiful sound.

Poetry is not from the heart.  The idea behind the poem might be, the thoughts might be heartfelt.  The poem itself is crafted – like any other art.  There is intention.  There is purpose behind each word, each line break, each syllable and break in each syllable.  A poem is attention to detail, to the sound of sounds in proximity as well as the connotations or denotations of the words themselves.  It is symbology from sound.

article-1316136-00829B8500000258-671_233x328If one has been writing a while, the craft is part of the drafting process.  Revision draws the writer into the meditation of the technical details and the writer loves these details the way a painter loves a specific brush, desires only a specific amount of turpentine to be added to the paint for a specific texture.

Here’s an exercise to help focus you on tools other than your own intent, or meaning.  Consider writing a poem in a made-up language.  Maybe write a piece in your native tongue but then “rewrite” it in the Assyrian you never learned.

Here’s the Epic of Gilgamesh being read in Babylonian.  There’s also Assyrian poetry as well.  Or go listen to some Russian Akhmatova.  The sounds of words are part of the poetic experience.

Consider writing a poem only from a made up language.  What would it sound like?  What kind of structure would you impose upon it?  What kind of “reasons” would be behind specific sound choices?

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