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The Philosophy of RhythmAesthetics, Music, Poetics$
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Peter Cheyne, Andy Hamilton, and Max Paddison

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199347773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199347773.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 September 2021

Leaving It Out

Leaving It Out

Rhythm and Short Form in the Modernist Poetic Tradition

(p.374) 23 Leaving It Out
The Philosophy of Rhythm

Will Montgomery

Oxford University Press

Chapter 23 shows how in the modernist era rhythm was no longer a stable background pattern, but became part of the overall acoustic texture of the poem—with short-form poetry the most powerful vehicle for rhythmic innovation. Poetry had, for most of English literary history, generally been held to be metrical—rhythmic in a consistent pattern. Ezra Pound helped shape modernist poetics, and the author focuses on the Poundian line of influence, with particular emphasis on the writing of the American poet Robert Creeley. While his verse is not “musical” in the tightly patterned sense of balladry, his precise and economical use of language encourages rhythmic innovations comparable to those of twentieth-century musical pioneers such as the composer Anton Webern or the bebop drummer Max Roach. The author argues that brevity and ellipsis are integral to a modernism best approached through the modernist dictum Dichten = condensare (to poetize is to condense).

Keywords:   rhythm, poetry, modernist poetry, modernism, short form, Robert Creeley, Ezra Pound

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