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What Is Sound Poetry?

Poetry by textbook definition is the lyrical rhyming of eloquent words used to convey someone’s deeply rooted and emotions. It is a form of literature in which feelings, beliefs and concepts are explained with in a heightened manner. Poetry is a distinct style of literature as it incorporates rhythmic techniques in a collective manner. Poetry is more so an art than anything else. Poetry is an art form of old. Something cherished by scholars and laymen alike.

Now, sound poetry although it is still petty has its own spectrum. Sound poetry is an artistic form (like poetry) but it builds the bridge literary and musical composition. Sound poetry is the use of written language and phonetic sounds. Some verses of sound poetry do not have any words at all just sounds like ‘huh huh huh’ or ‘kwee wee koooo’ which will incorporate crazy body movements to dramatize the sounds. These sounds often have no meaning. Sound poetry is intended primarily for performance.

During a sound poetry performance, the poet may hold a picture or an object whilst still making obnoxious (yet meaningful) sounds. This yet again pushes the known fact that sound poetry is a performance, extravagant because of its methodology and not extravagant on the basis of glam and glitter.

The roots of sound poetry are found in oral poetry traditions from over 40,000 years, however the use of pure sound texts is a 20th-century phenomenon.  Sound poetry evolved into visual poetry and concrete poetry. Visual poetry involves using an image to connect the story the aims poem to tell. For example, some sound poets may want to portray the tangible aspects of their sound poem using images. They may have a background that displays the image of a panda on background but up close there are the words that equate to the poet’s concept of the poem. Many sound poets like to emulate sounds that parallel the poem.

If a poem is about how life can flow away in the blink of an eye they poet may narrate the whole poem pretending that they are water flowing fast in a stream. Sounds such as swish would represent the actual water movements. Click-Clil-Clop sounds would symbolize the debris suspended in the water violating hitting against each other. Tsoo Tsoo would be narrated gently to highlight the falling of leaves onto the water. Double-tonguing or dgdgdgdgdgd sounds may be also used.

Sound poetry is not widely known by many as it is a distinct art form. Although it originates from poetry it is wild, enigmatic, stimulating and unique. Sound poetry can be viewed as primitive however there is a deeper artist meaning to the weird and meaning sounds made by the sound poet. Sound poetry enables the onlooker to think more. Sound poetry allows the onlooker to be transported into different realms of their mind. That is the beauty of sound poetry.