Before Sense, Only Sound

For The Sunday Whirl Poetry Prompt: Wordle #88
http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/

wordle #88

Before Sense, Only Sound

Before words have meaning,
each one is an enigma
of sound:
rapid spasms
that burst through clenched lips,
insistent
on being heard.
Seeming to hurl
themselves at listener
with need to rattle and rustle
taut wire of sensitive,
yet spacious and welcoming
inner ear.
To pluck at and tickle
those tender membranes
to awareness,
tuning them to receive rare,
but uniquely individual
music.

Elizabeth Crawford  12/23/12

Notes: Been doing a bit each day to prepare for a project I want to begin in the new year. Part of that preparation had me going back inside of my journal from over fifteen years ago. In those hand written pages, I found snippets of poetry and an exercise I had created to keep myself on the page and writing.
When Brenda’s list of words arrived, the word ‘enigma’ jumped out and wanted to run, so I let it and simply followed. Where it led me was to a very private and personal space that I would not feel comfortable posting here. I turned away and hoped something else would pop into view, because if it didn’t, I might not be able to post at all this week. The words seemed to lack any cooperation and I was getting worried. To distract myself, I once again dove into those old journal pages, and eventually found a snippet of poetry I had written about the marriage between sense and sound. I tried working the wordle words into the first few stanzas and ended up with a very different poem than the snippet was suggesting. I really like it when the old me comes to save the present me from her own shenanigans.

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About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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20 Responses to Before Sense, Only Sound

  1. I agree. The old you ventured into the future. The now you accepted the help and received a beautiful poem. I struggled with mine as well. ‘Enigma’ and ‘seemed’ were hard to place. But I relaxed and kept rereading it and was finally able to smooth out the rough spots. I’m glad to have ‘backspace’ and ‘delete’ instead of an eraser. So much easier.

    I love your poem.

    Cheryl, my journal used to be long hand, but even that went to puter a few years ago. However, long hand always seemed more connected to me. Thanks for reading,

    Elizabeth

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  2. vivinfrance says:

    Your process notes say much about the Elizabeth that I have come to know and love. Your poem is an enticing incursion into words, the tools of our trade. Sounds and meaning send my thoughts hither and yon, through our journeys with poetry.,

    Thanks Viv. What gave me away? (In the notes, lol). And I very much like that word “incursion”, it actually tickles my inner ear and I’ll have to find a way of using it, soon.

    Elizabeth

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  3. drpkp says:

    Wow! Perhaps it is simply the early morning hour – but I think not – I usually simply appreciate and am not often ‘humbled’ but this poem humbles me – it is lovely

    Gotta be the early morning hour, pkp, otherwise I’d have to admit that I am humbled by your incredible compliment. Thank you (she whispers),

    Elizabeth

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  4. Laurie Kolp says:

    Love this, Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing your process in writing this poem. I love pulling out old writing (except that I’m way too critical of myself). I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    Thank you Laurie. I often pull up what is stored here on my puter and its outside storage modem, but this meant hauling down boxes from shelves in my small library (lots of boxes). In my head, I am critical first because I don’t want to take the time or make the added effort. Yet, it never fails to surprise, because that woman I was always has something to teach me. How soon we forget those important lessons,

    Elizabeth

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  5. I love this too. The marriage between sense and words is sometimes a beautiful one. It did wonders for you to look back through your old writings and come up with this gem of a piece.
    Merry Christmas Elizabeth.

    Daydreamer, when I was teaching, I often spoke of that marriage and its necessity to good poetry. I’m so glad I found that snippet yesterday. Not only because it allowed me to post, but because it awakened those basic lessons that sometimes slip way in the mists of time and everyday doing. Thanks for commenting,

    Elizabeth

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  6. julespaige says:

    I agree with our friends that while you say this is a blending of old and new, it – your verse is a present.
    As writers we don’t always read out loud what the words sound like. I know that our voices sound different to ourselves than to others. Hearing my recorded voice…hmm – sounds strange to me.
    And yet I rather enjoy the way words flow when they cooperate 🙂

    I’ve two this week, but I managed all of them in my short renga verse here:
    http://julesgemsandstuff.blogspot.com/2012/12/sunday-whirl-88-whirling-renga.html

    You can find the story verse in Mr. Linky at the Whirl.

    Jules, it took me years to begin reading my poetry aloud in public, and I never got truly comfortable with the experience. However, when I write, I do read it aloud so I can ‘hear’ what it says because that’s when the sense and sound come together and either work or not. For me, that’s the final test.

    Elizabeth

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  7. jasmine calyx says:

    So true. Best we use them wisely so that they tickle and not burn.

    Thank you Jasmine. I do actually feel that tickle at my inner ear, its a signal to me that I’m on the right track, or at least close to it. But, sometimes a bit of a burn is not a bad thing, depends on what your intentions might be. There are a few ears that need to be heated in order to hear, or awakened, I think.

    Elizabeth

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  8. anl4 says:

    You are right, great save! Love it!

    Ah, my friend, thank you for the read, but also for your piece on slow/fast time.

    Elizabeth

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  9. Sherry Marr says:

    I enjoyed your notes as much as the poem. Poetry is such an interesting process. Lovely, my friend. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas week. I look forward to your January journey. Hmmmm….I am about ready to make one too. If I can figure out what!!!!!

    Oh, Sherry, my friend, I may have something that would assist both of us in January. Just have to figure out the logistics, but if you are interested, if might be fun and help both of us to stay on track. What I realized by reading those journal pages is that the process is an ever changing one. Good thing, or the poetry might get old and dull really fast. What I have in mind might make it interesting and fun and even supportive,

    Elizabeth

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  10. “Enigma” captured my eye, too! Enjoyed your poem and especially your notes.

    Thanks Marian, I do believe there is a bit of a tale behind every poem and I like hearing those bits and pieces. Glad you enjoyed,

    Elizabeth

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  11. Stan Ski says:

    And a ‘uniquely individual’ approach to a well crafted piece…

    Your cook brought back all kinds of good memories Stan, thank you. Poems are the stuff that surround us every day. No matter the approach (even though I really enjoy hearing and sharing them), getting to the poem is always the ongoing destination.

    Elizabeth

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  12. peggygoetz says:

    Seems you got a lot from these wordle words–a deeply private poem and this one as well. I enjoyed thinking about the connection. Happy Holiday to you.

    Hi Peggy. If you mean the connection between the two poems, there is none even though they share some of the same words. I enjoyed finding the connections in my journal pages, not just to my past, but how much it has to do with who I am in this present moment. There is an energy in those pages that I needed to rekindle for this current project, as well as information neccessary to the project itself. Thanks for stopping and reading,

    Elizabeth

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  13. Kim Nelson says:

    You created a masterpiece with those words, Elizabeth, and could use it to give an advanced lesson on the faculty of hearing. This feels like a dance between science and language. Than you!

    Kim, I used to teach personal growth classes based in regular daily writing, so language, both its sense and sound, have long been important to me. I often told my students that hearing and listening are two very different things. I think of my writing as the dance I do on paper, which is good for an old woman who is no longer steady on her feet. Thank you for your generous words.

    Elizabeth

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  14. Irene says:

    The marriage of sound & sense grounded in meaning makes a great poem. I’m glad you’re re-looking your journal. It must be real thick & fodder for poetry. Great that you’re hanging in with us writing. What a pleasure writing is, and friends who write. Happy holidays Elizabeth.

    Thank you, Irene. I am also glad, I’m revisiting all those words from years past. When I wrote them, they were just the words I was hearing in my head. Now, I can relax and just listen and learn. And yes, it is filled with pieces of poetry, many of which actually became poems published here on my blogs, as well as elsewhere. Although this project is a huge one, I am hoping to continue hanging out here, too much inspiration not to do so.

    Elizabeth

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  15. Mary says:

    I really like what you have done with the words, Elizabeth. So true that before words have meaning they are an enigma. Reminds me so much of the wordle words. When they arrive in email, it is always an enigma how they will be fit together to make sense in any way. Eventually the enigma is solved….most of the time anyway, and a poem is born. Good luck with your new project, Elizabeth; and do have a Merry Christmas.

    Actually Mary, that was my first thought when I started writing this (that old snippet had the same beginning words). The wordles arrive as only random sounds and writing them out allows me to hear those sounds and listen to what they are saying. And each week, my second thought, when the list has been written out, is “and this is supposed to be turned into some kind of poem?” The project is a long term thing and at the moment, my fingers are crossed, (just as I do with the wordles, lol). Thanks for nailing it again,

    Elizabeth

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  16. Mama Pajama says:

    I like your poem, but I think I like your process of it more!

    Thank you Mama. I love the words, but am always curious about the individual who is slinging them. Your piece had me grinning, laughing, even wincing in pain. I’m curious, now.

    Elizabeth

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  17. Inger-M says:

    What you did is so beautiful! Marry Christmas 🙂

    Thank you very much Inger. I think I must explore those old journals more often,

    Elizabeth

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  18. Unique and lovely wordle.

    Thank you, the process was an interesting one,

    Elizabeth

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  19. Janet says:

    This is brilliant!

    Ah Janet, that word used to throw me, but now it gives a wonderful warm feeling. Thank you,

    Elizabeth

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  20. Pingback: NaPoWriMo poetry prompt #7: Day 7 | 1sojournal

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