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(952) Syrinx - Clampitt

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  • Sam Droege
    Syrinx Like the foghorn that s all lung, the wind chime that s all percussion, like the wind itself, that s merely air in a terrible fret, without so much as a
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28, 2008
      Syrinx

      Like the foghorn that's all lung,
      the wind chime that's all percussion,
      like the wind itself, that's merely air
      in a terrible fret, without so much
      as a finger to articulate
      what ails it, the aeolian
      syrinx, that reed
      in the throat of a bird,
      when it comes to the shaping of
      what we call consonants, is
      too imprecise for consensus
      about what it even seems to
      be saying: is it o-ka-lee
      or con-ka-ree, is it really jug jug,
      is it cuckoo for that matter?—
      much less whether a bird's call
      means anything in
      particular, or at all.

      Syntax comes last, there can be
      no doubt of it: came last,
      can be thought of (is
      thought of by some) as a
      higher form of expression:
      is, in extremity, first to
      be jettisoned: as the diva
      onstage, all soaring
      pectoral breathwork,
      takes off, pure vowel
      breaking free of the dry,
      the merely fricative
      husk of the particular, rises
      past saying anything, any
      more than the wind in
      the trees, waves breaking,
      or Homer's gibbering
      Thespesiae iache:
      those last-chance vestiges
      above the threshold, the all—
      but dispossessed of breath.

      - Amy Clampitt
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