Friday, August 15, 2008

The dance of vowels and consonants

Milton scholar Stanley Fish considers a new prose translation of Paradise Lost and concisely demonstrates an essential difference between prose and poetry: while prose can be artfully formed into a dance of vowels and consonants (cf. Finnegans Wake), it doesn't depend on sonic choreography. Poetry, on the other hand, is ill-formed without it.

To misappropriate Göran Sonnevi, "only through listening, seeing, speaking-singing can it work."

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