Peter Middleton

‘Ear Loads’: Neologisms and sound poetry in Maggie O’Sullivan’s Palace Of Reptiles

by Peter Middleton

 This essay was first published in Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, vol. 2, no 1 (2010), ed. Robert Sheppard and Scott Thurston. It was collected in The Salt Companion to Maggie O'Sullivan (2011). Reprinted with the permission of  Peter Middleton.
PDF of full essay here.

EAR LOADS

- I SING –

THEY CAME TO ME –

OCCIPUTAL DISTENTIONS

LINGERED, CHISMERIC, CHISMIC,
SCAR
CUMES,
CON-
CONDY-
CREO-
KAKA-
CATE-
CUA-
COOT-
E-
COB-
OD-
CL-
CR-
SWISH OF

( - WRENS CROSS MY PATH - )

TREMORING BUSTLE & MUTE 

                        Maggie O’Sullivan, from ‘Doubtless’

To read ‘Doubtless’ and the book where it appears, Palace of Reptiles, is to be filled with ‘ear loads’ of clongy, phonempathic language songs, creating whisdomensional rituals cut with the unknown.

Recasting poetry

'The long biography of a poem'

Kaia Sand

In Distant Reading, Peter Middleton describes reading a poem as though it has a “long biography.” This approach involves “mining what is available of the aggregative textual archive that composes the textual memory of the poem, its showing in magazines, performance, anthologies, its construal in reviews and commentaries and other treatments” (23).

Consider the long life of Claude McKay’s "If We Must Die."

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