Haibun Today
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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 4, December 2011



Charles D. Tarlton
Oakland, California, USA

Toward a Theory and Practice of Tanka-Prose

 

1. Introduction

A myriad of forms are available to any aspiring poet in English. The question of the extent to which the poet might be constrained by the demands of genre is not one with much serious purchase today. One simply chooses a form that is agreeable and forges ahead. Only rarely has the history of English (and American) literature seen serious debate about the number of lines in a sonnet, for instance; it has seen virtually none of late. The history of the sonnet has seen, however, variation in aspects of rhythm, internal structure, and the importance of rhyme. Nevertheless, the sonnet might be considered a relatively stable form in the history of poetry.

The question of changing the look of the sonnet (or any of the many other concrete structures of verse) does not come up much because there is no demand that any poet work only in that genre. There are many alternative possibilities otherwise available, including no form at all. If, someone wants a ten line or a sixteen-line poem, then we just say go ahead and write it like that. We all know that literary conventions change, however, that forms evolve, and that time dissolves even the most rigid traditions. In the history of politics, art, and religion, traditions are maintained principally by discipline, and discipline involves authority, indoctrination, and/or punishment.

Tanka-prose is a distinct poetic form. I know too little of its history to venture there; I can say, however, that it enjoys a growing recognition today and that among those who write and read it there is a general sense of what constitutes tanka-prose. The elemental form of tanka-prose, as Jeffrey Woodward described it in 2008, was "one paragraph, one verse," although his main point was to acknowledge (and classify) the many combinations—preface, afterword, envelope, etc.,—in which this building block can appear. Most tanka-prose poets would probably agree with this in principle, even though they would reserve the right to add paragraphs and verses together in all kinds of combinations.

This is not the place to raise the question whether this is how tanka-prose will always be defined or whether it ought to be so defined. Literary forms evolve in unpredictable ways and whether you are on the side of some definite features (there must be specific requirements, some will say, or why call it tanka-prose?) or flexibility (the naming, for others, is ours to determine), we are all aware of the ways in which the form lends itself to new and interesting variation. So, leaving the issues surrounding this debate aside, I want to look at the problem of tanka-prose from the limited perspectives of 1) the nature of the prose passage, the prosaic part; 2) the tanka or verse, the lyrical or rhapsodic portion; and 3) the two in tandem, the dialectical transformation that takes place in the well made tanka-prose elevating the prose and the tanka to a new level of perception.

2. The Prose

Whether the prose passage comes before or after the verse, it is the prose that anchors the tanka-prose. By anchor, I mean that it lends occasion to the verse; but I also mean that it completes the verse in the tanka-prose setting. Now the verse, one could say, might well come into being on its own—it is just a tanka, or, perhaps, even a long sequence of tanka, after all. But the verse of a tanka-prose is not just a tanka; it is a tanka wed in some vital way to a larger structure that might include a great many other verses together with various prose passages. Imagine a poet inspired to write a tanka sequence filled with remembrance and emotion; after five or six tanka there is a pause, a reflection, a recollection, and the poet abruptly adds an impressionistic passage of unpunctuated prose. The result, I would argue, is to totally transform the chain of verses; to the poet and anyone else privy to the process of the poem's creation, the verses were somehow temporally prior to the prose (although that would not be so clear to any later reader who comes along); but, in experiencing the finished tanka-prose, the prose remains logically prior to the verses.

We have all read disappointing tanka-prose in which nothing could be clearer than that the tanka had already existed and were then just inserted after an unrelated prose passage. The authentic anchoring provided by the prose passage depends on whether we can sense its logically prior inevitability, its seriousness, its compelling necessity (in relation to the verses it in some sense inspires). Thus, frivolous or ill-conceived prose will not support the weight that the tanka-prose will become. Nor will glib or aggressive writing. There is no escaping this problem in the construction of the tanka-prose. We cannot be left wondering why the poet has written this bit of prose. Even when a prose passage is preceded by verse, it will be the prose that legitimates the whole.

What do I mean by these terms—"anchoring," "legitimates," "necessity?" Just this: because the tanka draw upon the prose at least initially, the prose must stand on its own, must come out of the void as from an unseen matrix. We must be able to imagine the universe from which the prose has been broken off and been hurled into place here. Tanka that are not just short prose sentences written out in five lines share with all poetry an indeterminacy of meaning and reference; the images, associations, and spatial relations among elements in the lines invite multiple intuitions.

But, beyond its greater definiteness (its truthfulness one might say), the prose might find legitimacy in the appeal of the elements of the problem it is presenting. Does it encompass the universal and the human, as opposed to things that are bizarre, perverse, and arbitrary? Gibberish is as unlikely to ground solid tanka as is the ranting of psychotics. Additionally, solid tanka might emerge from prose passages that themselves arise out of already established and customary foundations—world poetry, drama, philosophy, history, novels, and stories all might provide the initiating platform. The prose represents the presence of the perceiving animal, a consciousness of world that, in its turn, calls forth the art of verse to lend it feeling, beauty, and imagination.

The second major consideration in respect of the prose element of tanka-prose concerns the character of the prose, that is, whether it is sufficiently prosaic in the larger sense, or tends toward poetic fancy, elaboration, figures of speech, metaphors, heavily rhythmic and flowery language. When the prose passage in a tanka-prose is overly poetical itself, the line between the prose and the verse is compromised. When that happens, and when it is harder and harder to distinguish between the two forms or elements, then the crucial juxtaposition (to place close together for contrasting effect) at the heart of tanka-prose fails. And when it fails, the full magic of tanka-prose also fails; the hallmark dialectical ascension to a third and unexpected dimension of feeling and sense is made impossible. Whatever harmony, completion, extenuation, or repetition goes on between two pieces of poetry side by side (even though one of them approximates a prose poem) cannot accomplish sui generis the goals of tanka-prose. When the tanka and the prose express the same idea, feeling, illumination, that's that; there can be no dialectical ascension to other levels. But it is just such ascending that distinguishes the well-wrought tanka-prose. In so many cases where this has been a problem, putting the verse into the conventional five poetic lines seems gratuitous.

The new level of meaning and emotion to which the successful tanka-prose rises is the result largely of the dissonance between prose and tanka, and the resulting inability of either to express the full meaning that is contained in combination with the other. When the prose provokes a verse that has scoured the surfaces and plumbed the depths of the prose and found an idea that could only be expressed in verse, then the combination of the two expressions on the same page allows the reader to go there, to climb up to that new vista.

The prosaic passage works the referential and logical end of language; the verse searches among deeper psychological associations, the mostly inexplicable workings of image, rhythm, and the dream. The combination casts a brighter light in both directions; it reveals the realities from which the dreams emerge and it reveals the dreaminess of even the most ordinary experience. But I am ahead of myself.

3. The tanka

The tanka is verse; the English or American tanka is English or American verse. As such, it is distinguished from the prose passage by its music. By music I mean the fluid cadence of its words, phrases, and syntax the way, once begun, it carries itself along. We will see later how it is this musicality over against the soberer flow of the prose that works the tanka-prose magic.

But the tanka is not just any verse or poetry; traditionally, the tanka in Japanese is written in a single unbroken line of kanji and the "syllables" are, strictly speaking, incommensurable with English syllables. Of course, the prevailing 5-line translation of tanka in English, which has come to govern composition in English, is arbitrary. Some modern Japanese-American tanka writers have preferred 4 lines or even 2 for the English. The point is that although there seems to be a general acceptance of the five-line form for the tanka not even that is really sacred. Tanka verse has been brought over into English and American poetry in a form that readers in these languages can recognize as verse. This 5-line form is not likely to change soon or easily, but the important point to recognize is that it would not stop being tanka if it did. The same would be true for those other concerns of what we might call the conservative wing of tanka-definers, such things as syllable count, line length, diction, and internal logic or dramatic structure.

But, taking things as they are, what is the role or function in tanka-prose of the piece of tanka verse alongside a passage of prose? The verse must in some way be felt to arise out of the prose, to be there somehow because of the prose. There are really no limits on how this might be achieved or understood. Tanka-prose poets keep coming up with sundry ways of fitting the verse and the prose together; we find verse ricocheting off the prose, imagistically completing, interpreting, or contradicting it, betraying its ironies and faults, echoing it in color and texture or even verbal repetitions, or pulling on a single thread and unraveling it. What is crucial, however, is that in any of these permutations there must be sufficient distinction, opposition, tension, and difference to force reciprocal changes in how we read the prose and the verse, changes which will allow a separate and alternative perception to take place. And what is true regarding the relation between a prose passage and a single verse can also be true when there are multiple verses, two, three, four or more in a sequence before or after the prose.

If the tanka-prose is finished when we have a prose passage and its tanka kin, that's the end of it; but, if the poem continues to a further prose passage, then segues to a second prose passage, and so on, this raises its own problems. Sudden, rude, or dissonant transitions would jolt the overall poem, so we have to conclude (at least I have to) that the next prose passage must somehow arise out of what has gone before or we have to begin a new tanka-prose altogether. Moreover, on this hypothesis, the progress in a longer tanka-prose will be marked by ever higher, subtler, and more complicated meanings. All of the above admonitions regarding the fittedness and compellingness of the pairings come into play.

Arthur Koestler, in his Act of Creationi, argues for the presence of what he calls bisociative thinking as the basis of creativity. The concept is an enlargement of the idea of metaphor, seeing one thing in terms of another, and Koestler represents it figuratively as two plane surfaces intersecting and a wiggle coming down one and crossing over onto the other. At the center of this image, there is the line of intersection, a single line, now present magically where there had been two infinite plane surfaces. That line comprises the diadic loci of the creative idea, creativity in its most concentrated expression.

It is exactly such a line that comes into being (and into focus?) when the tanka "collides" with the prose in a tanka-prose. The line is the expression of something arising out of what were, to begin with, two separate frames of reference. Just as Koestler's act of creation demands the fusion of differences and as the idea of metaphor, in the words of Kenneth Burke, "is a device for seeing something in terms of something else. It brings out the thisness of a that, or the thatness of a this,ii the successful tanka-prose achieves its third "level" on the strength of the contrast between the first two.

One of the temptations to which many tanka-prose writers succumb is to allow the verse, the tanka, to slide toward language that is more like prose than verse. In some sense, because Japanese doesn't have the same kind of rhythmic stresses as English, this flattening of the English might seem appropriate, but the effect is to blur the distinction between the poetry and the prose (as we saw before, the other way around) with a resulting loss of contrariety. Sameness here reduces the level of energy, introducing a kind of entropy that leaves the structure flat and less interesting. So, the tanka, the music of the tanka-prose, requires a recognizable change of literary gears in the shifts between prose and tanka.

The greatest danger to tanka-prose arises just here; the poet cannot allow the tanka to become mere after-thought. The poetry has to burn its way out of the prose, arise from it with the same seriousness and justification as the prose itself had arisen out of the matrix of silence. The right to break the silence was, in the first instance, exactly what was thrown into question; there must be a reason contained in the beauty, force, elegance, seriousness, etc. of the prose passage, for its appearance. This is what makes for such uncomfortable reading of tanka-prose where the prose writing is vague, random, unfocused, or otherwise undistinguished. This reason, in turn, is what calls forth the poetry of the tanka. It is in this compound that we can discover the new thing that a good tanka-prose brings to pass, the beauty that transcends the virtues of either part considered on its own.

4. Synthesis

When the tanka and the prose are right for each other, there is something new that happens; I think that this is what makes the writing of tanka-prose so appealing in the first place. In any event, in order to make clearer what I am talking about, let's take an example, in this case from Tish Davis, a tanka-prose called simply "Sign," which was originally published in the first issue of Jeffrey Woodward's Modern Haibun and Tanka Prose in 2009. Here it is; a short work.

Sign

on wooden stilts
next to Father
I'm delicately balanced
and follow in his steps
picking peaches

The sign that bears my father's name now dangles from the weathered arm of the post at the front gate. I take the shingle down, because I am his only child, and carefully wrap it in the blanket brought from home.

new line posts
and barbed wire
razor sharp
the buyer renames
our family's farm

Now, I really do not know how to start talking about this tanka-prose; it is so rich in themes and associations. I will use it only to illustrate the achievement of the synthesis I am talking about. First of all, I take it that death has called this prose passage into existence, and it does so with weight and a kind of human authority. The moment of loss reaches back to when the farm (I am assuming it was a farm) was a thriving thing and her father vital and active and forward into the present, where she tenderly tidies up the broken sign at the same time recovering the last memento of an earlier and happier life.

We had just arrived at the prose passage after reading the first tanka:

on wooden stilts
next to Father
I'm delicately balanced
and follow in his steps
picking peaches

and we were fully in the past, in a memory or a dream of happier times on the farm. A little girl works alongside her father "picking peaches," with this one odd haunting detail—she is on stilts beside him, making her the same height. Does she remember seeing the whole thing, as it were, through his eyes? The farm that we will know as something dead in the prose is very much alive here, but the opening tanka also seems ghostly, a dream-like memory; the reality is there in the broken sign, the lost father and the lost farm. She carries away an old sign—the perfect synecdoche—as past and present (and a promise of a lonelier future) are all rolled up in one.

The synthesis here is, first of all, that obvious one blending past and present, but it also reaches toward the sense of how the little girl has risen in real life to the height of the stilts and her father. She replaces the father, in a way, and carries off with her the last "sign" of that older life. The old is in the new, the new in the old. The synthesis gives us the whole reach of a life, of two lives probably, as the little girl, now a woman, takes the old sign home, comforting it in a blanket, to have the past and this little piece of her father always with her.

I have been overemphasizing a kind of gentle promise, a tiny little happiness perhaps, in this first combination of verse and prose, but with the transition to the second tanka, the darkness of the prose passage (previously lit up and concealed from us by the little girl on stilts) comes fully into focus. The farm is being transformed into all but a prison camp.

new line posts
and barbed wire
razor sharp
the buyer renames
our family's farm

The loss is now irrevocable and tragic. I once owned a house on the sea that circumstance forced me to sell and leave; I still dream about it, forty years on. Nothing is so permanent as the loss of legal possession. The new owner rightfully does as he/she pleases in the quest to fulfill his/her own dreams. But the past is scraped off the present and will never again be real in the future. The mind of the teller of this story is split, then, stretched across a continuum of time in the most painful of ways. The tanka-prose combines a dream or memory, a painful experience, and a hopeless realization; in the process the reader has reached virtually an omniscient perspective from which life is glimpsed in an entirely new way.

5. Conclusion

The purpose of this essay has been to draw one person's picture of tanka prose temporarily, as if in the sand with a stick. I do not for a moment believe that what is here being said will find wide support, but I do believe that even in the effort to modify or reject it, important questions about the nature of tanka-prose in the present will be addressed. Literary forms evolve in unpredictable ways and whether you are on the side of definite features (there must be specific requirements or why call it tanka-prose?) or flexibility (the naming is ours to determine), we are all aware of the ways in which the form lends itself to new and interesting variation. The three elements that I identify—the prose, the poem, and the synthesis— still seem unavoidable aspects of tanka-prose. They are basics which even the most experimental poets cannot get too far away from without crossing over into some different kind of work altogether. I was interested in how tanka-prose work (or at least work for me) and there is simply no denying that tanka-prose achieves something that a composition in which the prose and the verse were indistinguishable could not. And that achievement derives from the energies generated by the differences between what prose can do and what the verse can do.

The idea, promoted by some, that repetition and summary avoid juxtaposition seems wrong to me. Imagine a tanka-prose that stretches the boundaries by placing what are effectively two prose passages or two verse passages alongside each other, with nothing else. In the first case, outside the effects of sense, referent, and syntax, the prose would be just that, two prose passages; they might contradict each other, duplicate each other, or one continue the other, but all on the same plane, I would suggest, all in the linear world of prose. Something similar but more complicated would arise in the case of two verses—but here we enter the world of the tanka sequence, and I hesitate to go farther pleading ignorance. I would add, however, that for me it is not really possible for well-wrought prose and poetry to "say" the same thing at all. Logic crashes into imagery.

Here is the issue, then, for me. I do not mean to suggest that there are rules by which anyone else ought to write tanka-prose. It is, certainly, a question of what works for the poet or the poem at hand (although the judgment whether a poetic thing has worked or not remains elusive). What I am concerned about is something fundamental to the tanka-prose and though it remains difficult to state or define, I am convinced that it is still crucial, to wit, tanka-prose entails a construction of dissimilar elements. It is not the same thing as a sequence of tanka nor is it just a stack of prose sentences or paragraphs. Verse or poetry in this case should mean something more than just writing that is broken into five lines. Jeremy Bentham, belittling poetry, said that it was just writing with a single margin. Poetry is more than its visual presentation; we look for a certain musicality (if nothing else) in verse. On the other hand, prose, even highly poetic prose, is not verse.

Now, of course, we run smack into Rimbaud and Baudelaire and the whole body of poetry called prose poems. I think this is just what it seems—not just flowery or fancy prose, but poetry without lines. So, I am stuck here with the artistic certainty (that is, it is, perhaps, only in my own head) that the underlying quiddity of tanka-prose is two modes, two forms, two voices, whatever—AND that the force or energy of tanka-prose derives from the difference between them. The reader, in an act of transcending those differences, finds an overarching level from which to perceive the overall poem, a level of meaning not complete in either prose or verse considered on their own. This happens whether or not the poem intends it; and it doesn't happen when the tanka-prose is made up of poetry-and-poetry or prose-and-prose.

Of course, one can write tanka-prose however one wishes and there are no generally accepted rules in this connection. But I think that the power and the magic of the tanka prose is lost, or is in danger of being lost, when the connection between prose and verse fails. And it fails most frequently, for me, when the verse is clearly anticipated in the prose (or vice-versa). By anticipated, I mean that the poet has deliberately contrived the prose and the verse to go together, when the "grazing cow" in the prose leads to "ruminating wisdom" in the verse. The greater the pressure at the moment of "searching" for the verse that demands to arise from a piece of inspired prose, the greater the power and the beauty of the tanka-prose.

All this is just my own opinion, of course, and it serves only to guide my own efforts (however often I might fail in this regard). And, equally, it is magnified when we come to consider the prevailing forms of tanka-prose, those that entail multiple prose passages and many different combinations of tanka and tanka sequences. No doubt a large part of the flatness in some tanka-prose comes from just exactly the generally arrhythmic quality of tanka based on syllable count, end-stopped lines, and in which metaphor, alliteration, enjambment, rhymes, and poetic diction are proscribed. And, it is this frequent flatness that smudges and, sometimes, erases altogether the line between the force of the verse and the force of the prose. They cannot produce a powerful counterpoise if they are, for all practical purposes, the same thing.

Appendix: Can Tanka-Prose Become a Mode of Modern Lyric Poetry?

You don't see many tanka-prose in any of the hundreds of poetry journals currently published in English. This is probably due less to unwillingness on the part of those journals to publish tanka and tanka-prose than it is to the reluctance of tanka-prose poets to submit their work outside the circle of dedicated journals—Haibun Today, Atlas Poetica, and a few others.

Attitudes seem to vary in the world of tanka and tanka-prose as to the degree to which the English practice of these forms owes loyalty and submission to Japanese literary history. There are some who decry any effort to infuse non-Japanese forms, ideas, or spirit into tanka-prose, while others simply stay close to home, relying on sympathetic audiences. The requirement that, even when written by English, German, American, and other nationality poets, tanka-prose must limit itself to the traditions of Japanese poetry is hard to understand. Only imagine modern poetry in English still limited to the demands of the villanelle, sestina, or the sonnet.

As things now stand, mainstream American poetry is on one side of a chasm, while the best tanka-prose is on the other. The separation is due largely to the importance given to formal aspects of the tanka and tanka-prose. It is as if the sonnet today were treated as a separate kind of poetry, with its own journals, meetings, and prizesiii, as if the sonneteers would argue against being assimilated into the larger world of poetry in general on the ground that what matters most, poetically speaking, are the 14 lines, the iambic pentameter, the complicated rhyming schemes or systems, and the clear break between the octet and the sestet—the turn or voltaiv. But too much of what has been written under the sonnet rubric would have to be thrown out; many of the poems of e.e. cummings, John Berryman, and others would be turned away. But there is no real argument to refute those who insist upon purity of form and definition; after all, this is what has always been defined as a tanka, a haiku, a sonnet, or whatever.

Nevertheless, the possibility of a tanka-prose that reaches the larger audience reading modern poetry in general seems justification enough for change. Teaching tanka-prose in schools and universities alongside Yeats and Eliot couldn't be a bad thing.

So, what are the elements of tanka-prose that cannot be lost without losing, at the same time, the power and elegance of the form? I don't myself care what we call things, but the name tanka-prose itself gives us a clue, inasmuch as it seems to name less a particular thing than a relation; it seems almost an action word, calling to mind the act of bringing together tanka and prose. And the hyphen in the middle tells us that they are both separate and together, compounded, but in such a way as each remains recognizable as components of the whole. The name, then, tells us how the thing comes to be, so to speak.

What, then, might one do with or to the tanka-prose in the effort to bring it into the mainstream of contemporary American poetry? First of all, in this postmodern period, after the idea of historical periods—such as modernism, high-modernism, post-War, Beats, etc.—had been exploded and everything seemed to be happening at once, the very definition of poetry became fluid—words on the page, being perhaps the best and most accurate definition. What is contemporary American poetry, anyway? The very difficulty we have answering this question is perhaps a boon.

Cast over against the elegant forms of the modern giants (think of the visual look of Stevens's poems, or Eliot's, or Berryman's, or Elizabeth Bishop's, or even cummings's letters down a page) the tanka-prose would always have seemed a little odd, foreign, perhaps even alien. In the distant past, in Greek and Latin, prose and verse were from time to time made to work together, but the popular modern acknowledgment of such an arrangement rises out of the Western discovery of Japanese poetry; only after that, do the ancient and early modern works of that sort get generally noticed.v There has been recent enthusiasm for the return of prose poems, of course, and a good deal of experimenting with poems in geometric and other shapes. It is safe to say, I think, that the obstacles to tanka-prose do not lie in modern poetry's conservatism regarding form.vi So, imagine that as a writer of tanka-prose you wanted to find a wider audience for your work, to find a seat at the table and a voice in the wider poetic conversation. How would you adjust your writing of tanka-prose to make it more noticeable to poets and editors?

This is a question to which I have given considerable thought. In the interests of brevity, however, in an essay that has already gone on too long, I want to address just four areas in which changes might have definite results: 1) variability in the length of the poetic line, 2) overall rhythm, as when Charles Olson, citing Edward Dahlberg, commanded that "ONE PERCEPTION MUST IMMEDIATELY AND DIRECTLY LEAD TO A FURTHER PERCEPTION,"vii 3) what Olson calls "composition in the field,"viii which I take to refer to the spatial layout of the poem on the page and, in regard to tanka-prose, the obvious parallel disguising the shape of the prose, and 4) musicality without strict meter, what Ezra Pound referred to as composing "in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome."ix

To facilitate an end to these remarks, I am going to have recourse to a tanka-prose of my own, one that is only slightly complex in structure (one prose passage and three tanka) but otherwise very conservative—five lines, s/l/s/l/l/. Here it is.

along light's
longest wavelength
humanly discernible
color of blood
red roses, and love

My wife and I moved into a low-rent student apartment at UCLA. Every room was purple and smelled of curry from a thousand Indian student meals. We bought paint and rollers and brushes and began repainting all the rooms white—it took three complete coats to cover the purple, the turmeric, and the coriander.

black no color
or it absorbs them all
thick light burnished
some turning whirling dervish
arms wildly outstretched

every color
in the optical spectrum
metamorphoses
on the way to another
violet, to cyan, to red

There are many, many ways in which we might alter this tanka-prose to make it look more like a conventional lyric poem. The easiest first step and one widely practiced in the MFA poetry of the major e-journals, is to put the lines into couplet-like pairs. As we do that, we need to be careful not to allow specific perceptions to develop too fully; once they are stated, we have to move to the next. Then, we need to worry about the look on the page: the eye is at the mercy of the spacebar here. In the end, we need to break lines where the natural musicality of English sound and syntax might require it. We may need to add some syllables as we go along; we'll put those in brackets, and disguise the prose a little. Finally, it probably needs a title, so . . .

Moving Colors

along light's longest wavelength
humanly discernible

[the] color of blood
red roses, and love

My wife and I moved to a low-rent student
apartment at UCLA. Every room was purple

and smelled of curry
from a thousand Indian student meals.

We bought paint and rollers; and brushes
and [then] began
           repainting all the rooms

white

—it took three complete coats
           to cover the purple,

the turmeric, and the coriander.

black [is] no color
or it absorbs them all

thick light burnish[ing]
some turning whirling dervish

[whose]arms
wildly outstretched

[were] every color
in the optical spectrum

metamorphoses on the way to another . . .
violet, to cyan, to red.


Notes

i Koestler, Arthur, The Act of Creation, 1964.

ii Kenneth Burke, A Grammar of Motives, 1945.

iii There is one, of course. Sixty-Six: The Journal of Sonnet Studies.

iv http://www.sonnets.org/canon.htm; T.W.H.Crosland, The English Sonnet (1917).

v P. Dronke, Verse with Prose from Petronius to Dante: The Art and Scope of the Mixed Form, 1994.

vi Maggie O'Sullivan (ed.) Out of Everywhere, 1996.

vii "Projective Verse" in Charles Olson, Selected Writings, 1950.

viii Ibid.

ix Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, et al., Imagist Manifesto (1912).

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