Echoes listening hearing


I’m reading about hearing loss, and creative use of hearing and listening, in essays in Beauty is a Verb, ed. by Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen (a must-read book!). Thinking about how all hearing is probably mis-hearing, and all movement from one source to another (poem in head to poem on page, poem from poet to poem in book by publisher, poem read in book to poem in reader's head, poem uttered in reading to poem heard in reading) involves evolution, change. Laurie Clements Lambeth, in her essay “Reshaping the Outline,” in this book, speaks of this with grace and clarity, including the creative potential of such transmission, or, if you like, mistransmission. 

I find myself reading Norma Cole's essay in the book, “Why I am Not a Translator II,” and echoing its words as I go, according to thoughts I'm developing about the book's (in a large sense) openness and impermanance, maybe the idea's openness and impermanence. From this point, until and not including the last line, I have taken excerpts from Norma Cole's writing, including that essay, and the following poem, also included in Beauty is a Verb, titled “Speech Production Themes and Variations,” and those excerpts appear first, not in parentheses, with my echoing of them following in parentheses.

Word-seeds. Sphota. (  ideas    seeds    flax    paper    book  )

one has ideas before one has words to say them. . . . No tabula rasa.  (  the book is always pre-content  )

Ideas that pre-exist words and objects.   (  Book is word-object  /  book is spoken  /  book is convention, convened, convection, convict, closed case, open mind  )

why shouldn’t one pass from the word in the first language straight to the word in the second language, without even thinking about ideas?   (  first page to second page , books as simple as turning pages, from page to next page is a translation  )

“The ‘body’ of the poem is created from ‘sounds and meanings’” (Roman Jakobson, “Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances,” Language in Literature, p. 97), whether it is a translation or not. But it’s all translation anyhow. Crooked translation.   (  body is a book , translation is the small stuff, and don’t sweat the small stuff, but it's all small stuff.  crooked is fluent, fluctuating, flux, flow. Book = Verbal Art, = Verbal Sign = Verbal Time  )

ribbons of scandal   (  typewriter ribbons, ink ribbons  )

exhibitions: temporary inhibitions, my semblables: collective guilt  (  mon semblable, mon frere, my self, my selves, my solvents  )

quote / quotation / quit / quoting / quit it / unscripted / quoted unscripted / quote script?   (  BOOK, quit book, unbook, unbind the book, unpage the book  )

Sonata: a musical composition in contrasted movements   (  a composition / a made thing / a poem / a book  )

postcards, newspapers, my cane, myself?   (  my color   my self, a made thing, a meadow, a book)

This is not an essay about a book. This is an essay about a book.