Quick, Said the Bird : Williams, Eliot, Moore, and the Spoken Word

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Iowa Pr
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When William Carlos Williams said, "It's all in / the sound," when T. S. Eliot hailed the invigorating force of the "auditory imagination," or when Marianne Moore applauded "the clatter and true sound" of Williams's verse, each poet invoked the dimension that bound them together. In Quick, Said the Bird,Richard Swigg makes the case for acoustics as the basis of the linkages, kinships, and inter-illuminations of a major twentieth-century literary relationship. Outsiders in their home terrain who nevertheless continued to reach back to their own American vocal identities, Williams, Eliot, and Moore embody a unique lineage that can be traced from their first significant works (19091918) to the 1960s. In reconstructing the auditory dimension in the work of the three poets, Quick, Said the Birddoes not neglect the visual text. Whether in the form of Moore's quirky patternings, Eliot's expandable verse-frames, or Williams's springy stanzas, the printed shape on the page is here brought together with the spoken word in vital interplay: the eye-read text cut against by sequential utterance in a restoration of the poetry's full effect. By seeing and hearing the verse at the same moment-together with reading side-by-side discussions of the quarrels, friendships, mutual borrowings, and shared energies of Williams, Eliot, and Moore-the reader gains a remarkable new understanding of their individual achievements.By sound and sight, Quick, Said the Birdtakes the reader straight into the physical textures of the finest works by three outstanding figures of twentieth-century American poetry.

Author Biography

Richard Swigg was formerly senior lecturer in the Department of English at Keele University. He is author of Lawrence, Hardy and American Literature, Charles Tomlinson and the Objective Tradition, and Look with the Ears: Charles Tomlinson's Poetry of Sound. He has collected, edited, and published the collected recordings of William Carlos Williams, Charles Tomlinson, Basil Bunting, and Hugh MacDiarmid. In 2007, PennSound published his collection of Williams recordings online and in 2009 published his collection of George Oppen recordings.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Voices of a Common Groundp. 1
To Hew Form Trulyp. 18
Sounding The Waste Landp. 38
Riding the Floodp. 54
The Animal Vernacularp. 70
Quick, Said the Birdp. 89
A Way to the Last Leaftipp. 105
Notesp. 123
Selected Bibliographyp. 137
Selected List of Recorded Readings by Williams, Eliot, and Moorep. 145
Permissionsp. 151
Indexp. 153
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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