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Close ListeningPoetry and the Performed Word$
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Charles Bernstein

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195109924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109924.001.0001

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Understanding the Sound of Not Understanding

Understanding the Sound of Not Understanding

(p.232) (p.233) 11 Understanding the Sound of Not Understanding
Close Listening

Jed Rasula

Oxford University Press

Hearing is a physiological accident, while listening is psychological posture culturally disposed. To hear is to simply receive and register what is given and to listen is to correct and displace it. Music is a vocal sonority that impresses the ear as “poetic”which leads the author questioning if the voice was the sonorous, or the poem. To listen to the varieties of modern poetry reading is to encounter a version of poets' fear of poetry or a fear of what poetry might become if words wander too far off the page, and meanings drift apart from the words.

Keywords:   hearing, physiological accident, listening, psychological posture, vocal sonority

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