Perfect for the general reader of poetry, students and teachers of literature, and aspiring poets, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is a lively and comprehensive study of versification by one of our best contemporary practitioners of traditional poetic forms. Emphasizing both the coherence and the diversity of English metrical practice from Chaucer's time to ours, Timothy Steele explains how poets harmonize the fixed units of meter with the variable flow of idiomatic speech, and examines the ways in which poets have used meter, rhyme, and stanza to communicate and enhance meaning. Steele illuminates as well many practical, theoretical, and historical issues in English prosody, without ever losing sight of the fundamental pleasures, beauties, and insights that fine poems offer us.
Written lucidly, with a generous selection of helpful scansions and explanations of the metrical effects of the great poets of the English language, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing is not only a valuable handbook on technique; it is also a wide-ranging study of English verse and a mine of entertaining information for anyone wishing more fully to write, enjoy, understand, or teach poetry.
Rhythms, conceptual metaphors, and political language convey meanings of which Chinese speakers themselves may not be aware. Link’s Anatomy of Chinese contributes to the debate over whether language shapes thought or vice versa, and its comparison of English with Chinese lends support to theories that locate the origins of language in the brain.
Despite rhythm and blues culture’s undeniable role in molding, reflecting, and reshaping black cultural production, consciousness, and politics, it has yet to receive the serious scholarly examination it deserves. Destructive Desires corrects this omission by analyzing how post-Civil Rights era rhythm and blues culture articulates competing and conflicting political, social, familial, and economic desires within and for African American communities. As an important form of black cultural production, rhythm and blues music helps us to understand black political and cultural desires and longings in light of neo-liberalism’s increased codification in America’s racial politics and policies since the 1970s. Robert J. Patterson provides a thorough analysis of four artists—Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Adina Howard, Whitney Houston, and Toni Braxton—to examine black cultural longings by demonstrating how our reading of specific moments in their lives, careers, and performances serve as metacommentaries for broader issues in black culture and politics.
Bored during Mass at the cathedral in Pisa, the seventeen-year-old Galileo regarded the chandelier swinging overhead—and remarked, to his great surprise, that the lamp took as many beats to complete an arc when hardly moving as when it was swinging widely. Galileo’s Pendulum tells the story of what this observation meant, and of its profound consequences for science and technology.
The principle of the pendulum’s swing—a property called isochronism—marks a simple yet fundamental system in nature, one that ties the rhythm of time to the very existence of matter in the universe. Roger Newton sets the stage for Galileo’s discovery with a look at biorhythms in living organisms and at early calendars and clocks—contrivances of nature and culture that, however adequate in their time, did not meet the precise requirements of seventeenth-century science and navigation. Galileo’s Pendulum recounts the history of the newly evolving time pieces—from marine chronometers to atomic clocks—based on the pendulum as well as other mechanisms employing the same physical principles, and explains the Newtonian science underlying their function.
The book ranges nimbly from the sciences of sound and light to the astonishing intersection of the pendulum’s oscillations and quantum theory, resulting in new insight into the make-up of the material universe. Covering topics from the invention of time zones to Isaac Newton’s equations of motion, from Pythagoras’s theory of musical harmony to Michael Faraday’s field theory and the development of quantum electrodynamics, Galileo’s Pendulum is an authoritative and engaging tour through time of the most basic all-pervading system in the world.
The first book-length biography of an influential country/soul legend whose songs have been recorded by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan.
Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues chronicles the rise, fall, and rebirth of Arthur Alexander, an African American singer-songwriter whose music infuenced many of the rock and soul musicians of the 1960s. Although his name is not well known today, Alexander's musical legacy is vast. His 1962 song "You Better Move On" was the first hit to emerge from the fedgling Muscle Shoals FAME studio in Alabama, and his fusion of country and soul and his heartfelt vocals on such songs as "Anna (Go to Him)" and "Every Day I Have to Cry" were revered by musicians including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, all of whom recorded his songs.
Alexander's story is a tragic one, with a brief, redemptive finale. His meteoric rise after the release of "You Better Move On" gave way to lean years caused both by his drug and alcohol abuse and by the mishandling of his career by producers and managers. In 1977, he quit the music business, but his music lived on. In 1992, Alexander returned to
the studio and recorded the critically praised album Lonely Just Like Me. Just three months after the album's release in March 1993, he suffered a heart attack in the offices of his music publisher in Nashville and died three days later.
In telling Alexander's story, Richard Younger captures the burgeoning music scenes in Muscle Shoals and Nashville during the 1960s and 1970s and recovers the life of a fascinating musician whose influence was international. Younger's account is enriched by his interviews with more than 200 artists, family members, and friends--such as Rick Hall, Billy Sherrill, Charlie McCoy, Chuck Jackson, Gerry Marsden, and Kris Kristofferson--and includes an abundance of never-before-seen photographs.
Could something as simple and seemingly natural as falling into step have marked us for evolutionary success? In Keeping Together in Time one of the most widely read and respected historians in America pursues the possibility that coordinated rhythmic movement--and the shared feelings it evokes--has been a powerful force in holding human groups together.
As he has done for historical phenomena as diverse as warfare, plague, and the pursuit of power, William H. McNeill brings a dazzling breadth and depth of knowledge to his study of dance and drill in human history. From the records of distant and ancient peoples to the latest findings of the life sciences, he discovers evidence that rhythmic movement has played a profound role in creating and sustaining human communities. The behavior of chimpanzees, festival village dances, the close-order drill of early modern Europe, the ecstatic dance-trances of shamans and dervishes, the goose-stepping Nazi formations, the morning exercises of factory workers in Japan--all these and many more figure in the bold picture McNeill draws. A sense of community is the key, and shared movement, whether dance or military drill, is its mainspring. McNeill focuses on the visceral and emotional sensations such movement arouses, particularly the euphoric fellow-feeling he calls "muscular bonding." These sensations, he suggests, endow groups with a capacity for cooperation, which in turn improves their chance of survival.
A tour de force of imagination and scholarship, Keeping Together in Time reveals the muscular, rhythmic dimension of human solidarity. Its lessons will serve us well as we contemplate the future of the human community and of our various local communities.
Focusing on expressions of popular culture among blacks in Africa, the United States, and the Carribean this collection of multidisciplinary essays takes on subjects long overdue for study. Fifteen essays cover a world of topics, from American girls’ Double Dutch games to protest discourse in Ghana; from Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale to the work of Zora Neale Hurston; from South African workers to Just Another Girl on the IRT; from the history of Rasta to the evolving significance of kente clothl from rap video music to hip-hop to zouk.
The contributors work through the prisms of many disciplines, including anthropology, communications, English, ethnomusicology, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political economy, psychology, and social work. Their interpretive approaches place the many voices of popular black cultures into a global context. It affirms that black culture everywhere functions to give meaning to people’s lives by constructing identities that resist cultural, capitolist, colonial, and postcolonial domination.
Across the nineteenth century, meter mattered—in more ways and to more people than we might well appreciate today. For the period’s poets, metrical matters were a source of inspiration and often vehement debate. And the many readers, teachers, and pupils encountered meter and related topics in both institutional and popular forms.
The ten essays in Meter Matters showcase the range of metrical practice of poets from Wordsworth and Byron to Hopkins, Swinburne, and Tennyson; at the same time, the contributors bring into focus some of the metrical theorizing that shaped poetic thinking and responses to it throughout the nineteenth century. Paying close attention to the historical contours of Romantic and Victorian meters, as well as to the minute workings of the verse line, Meter Matters presents a fresh perspective on a subject that figured significantly in the century’s literature, and in its culture.
This wide-ranging, ambitiously interdisciplinary study traces jazz's influence on African American poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to contemporary spoken word poetry. Examining established poets such as Langston Hughes, Ntozake Shange, and Nathaniel Mackey as well as a generation of up-and-coming contemporary writers and performers, Meta DuEwa Jones highlights the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality within the jazz tradition and its representation in poetry. Applying prosodic analysis to emphasize the musicality of African American poetic performance, she examines the gendered meanings evident in collaborative performances and in the criticism, images, and sounds circulating within jazz cultures.
Jones also considers poets who participated in contemporary venues for black writing such as the Dark Room Collective and the Cave Canem Foundation, including Harryette Mullen, Elizabeth Alexander, and Carl Phillips. Incorporating a finely honed discussion of the Black Arts Movement, the poetry-jazz fusion of the late 1950s, and slam and spoken word performance milieus such as Def Poetry Jam, she focuses on jazz and hip hop-influenced performance artists including Tracie Morris, Saul Williams, and Jessica Care Moore.
Through attention to cadence, rhythm, and structure, The Muse is Music fills a gap in literary scholarship by attending to issues of gender in jazz and poetry and by analyzing recordings of poets both with and without musical accompaniment. Applying the methodology of textual close reading to a critical "close listening" of American poetry's resonant soundscape, Jones's analyses include exploring the formal innovation and queer performance of Langston Hughes's recorded collaboration with jazz musicians, delineating the relationship between punctuation and performance in the post-soul John Coltrane poem, and closely examining jazz improvisation and hip-hop stylization. An elaborate articulation of the connections between jazz, poetry and spoken word, and gender, The Muse Is Music offers valuable criticism of specific texts and performances and a convincing argument about the shape of jazz and African-American poetic performance in the contemporary era.
Rhythm & Booze: POEMS
Julie Kane University of Illinois Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3611.A544R48 2003 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Arranged in four parts--each associated with a particular Louisiana city--the poems in Rhythm & Booze trace the hardships and uncertainties, as well as the moments of unexpected sublimity, of a life lived in a continuous struggle between fresh starts and destructive old patterns.
Mirroring the music of New Orleans, Kane's poems combine traditional form with improvisational flourishes. Rhythm & Booze charts her progress as she undertakes a number of journeys, from youth to experience, from blues bars to college classrooms, from city to country, from chaos to something approaching peace.
You know it when you hear it, but can you say what it is? How you know? Why you either love or loathe it? What makes it original or derivative? To a music that tends to render its aficionados and detractors equally inarticulate, Theodore Gracyk brings a rare critical clarity. His book tells us once and for all what makes rock music rock. A happy marriage of aesthetic theory and the aesthetic practice that moved a generation, Rhythm and Noise is the only thorough-going account of rock as a distinct artistic medium rather than a species of popular culture. What’s in a name? “Rock” or “Rock ’n’ Roll?” Grayck argues that rock and roll is actually a performance style, one in a number of musical styles comprising rock. What distinguishes rock, Gracyk tells us, is how it is mediated by technology: The art is in the recording. The lesson is a heady one, entailing a tour through the history of rock music from Elvis Presley’s first recordings in 1954 to Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994. Gracyk takes us through key recordings, lets us hear what rock musicians and their critics have to say, shows us how other kinds of music compare, and gives us the philosophical background to make more than passing sense of the medium. His work takes up the common myths and stereotypes about rock, popular and academic, and focuses on the features of the music that electrify fans and consistently generate controversy. When Elvis came to town, did southern sheriffs say that rock was barbaric and addictive? Well so did Theodor Adorno, in his way, and Allan Bloom, in his, and Gracyk takes aim at this charge as it echoes through the era of recorded music. He looks at what rock has to do with romanticism and, even more, with commercialism. And he questions the orthodoxy of making grand distinctions between “serious” and “popular” art. Keenly attuned to the nuances of music and of all the ways that we can think about it, this exhilarating book tunes us in, as no other has, to the complex role of rock in American culture.
More than the persistent beat of a song or the structural frame of poetry, rhythm is a deeply imbedded force that drives our world and is also a central component of the condition of human existence. It’s the pulse of the body, a power that orders matter, a strange and natural force that flows through us. Virginia Woolf describes it as a “wave in the mind” that carries us, something we can no more escape than we could stop our hearts from beating.
Vincent Barletta explores rhythm through three historical moments, each addressing it as a phenomenon that transcends poetry, aesthetics, and even temporality. He reveals rhythm to be a power that holds us in place, dispossesses us, and shapes the foundations of our world. In these moments, Barletta encounters rhythm as a primordial and physical binding force that establishes order and form in the ancient world, as the anatomy of lived experience in early modern Europe, and as a subject of aesthetic and ethical questioning in the twentieth century.
A wide-ranging book covering a period spanning two millennia and texts from over ten languages, Rhythm will expand the conversation around this complex and powerful phenomenon.
A rigorous and imaginative inquiry into rhythm’s vital importance for film and the moving image
Focusing attention on a concept much neglected in the study of film, The Rhythm of Images opens new possibilities for thinking about expanded perception and idiosyncratic modes of being. Author Domietta Torlasco engages with both philosophy and cinema to elaborate a notion of rhythm in its pre-Socratic sense as a “manner of flowing”—a fugitive mode that privileges contingency and calls up the forgotten fluidity of forms. In asking what it would mean to take this rhythm as an ontological force in its own right, she creatively draws on thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, and Luce Irigaray. Rhythm emerges here as a form that eludes measure, a key to redefining the relation between the aesthetic and the political, and thus a pivotal means of resistance to power.
Working with constellations of films and videos by international artists—from Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard, and David Lynch to Harun Farocki and Victor Burgin, among others—Torlasco brings to bear on them her distinctive concept of rhythm with respect to four interrelated domains: life, labor, memory, and medium. With innovative readings of artworks and critical texts alike, The Rhythm of Images fashions a vibrant, provocative theory of rhythm as the excess or potential of perception.
Ultimately, the book reconceives the relation between rhythm and the world-making power of images. The result is a vision of cinema as a hybrid medium endowed with the capacity not only to reinvent corporeal boundaries but also to find new ways of living together.
The Rhythm of Strategy provides a richly documented analysis of the Salim Group, one of the largest family conglomerates in Southeast Asia. Set up by Liem Sioe Liong, a Chinese emigrant, the Salim Group evolved from a small trading venture in colonial Java into one of the largest diversified businesses on the Asian continent. While the Salim Group is generally reluctant to provide information on its strategy to the general public, this volume proposes that the conglomerate’s strategy oscillates between a business model built on connections and a professional model adapted to markets. Dismissing the view that the group is a typical Chinese ethnic firm—in which the cultural values of the founding family influences corporate behavior—The Rhythm of Strategy argues that the group’s strategy made sense in the evolving institutional context of Indonesia, which is characterized by high transaction costs, corruption, political risk, and ample business opportunities to cater to a large and rapidly growing consumer base.
Between present and past, visible and invisible, and sensation and idea, there is resonance—so philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty argued and so Jessica Wiskus explores in The Rhythm of Thought. Holding the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé, the paintings of Paul Cézanne, the prose of Marcel Proust, and the music of Claude Debussy under Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological light, she offers innovative interpretations of some of these artists’ masterworks, in turn articulating a new perspective on Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy.
More than merely recovering Merleau-Ponty’s thought, Wiskus thinks according to it. First examining these artists in relation to noncoincidence—as silence in poetry, depth in painting, memory in literature, and rhythm in music—she moves through an array of their artworks toward some of Merleau-Ponty’s most exciting themes: our bodily relationship to the world and the dynamic process of expression. She closes with an examination of synesthesia as an intertwining of internal and external realms and a call, finally, for philosophical inquiry as a mode of artistic expression. Structured like a piece of music itself, The Rhythm of Thought offers new contexts in which to approach art, philosophy, and the resonance between them.
Wye Jamison Allanbrook’s widely influential Rhythmic Gesture in Mozart challenges the view that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music was a “pure play” of key and theme, more abstract than that of his predecessors. Allanbrook’s innovative work shows that Mozart used a vocabulary of symbolic gestures and musical rhythms to reveal the nature of his characters and their interrelations. The dance rhythms and meters that pervade his operas conveyed very specific meanings to the audiences of the day.
Soul Covers is an engaging look at how three very different rhythm and blues performers—Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Phoebe Snow—used cover songs to negotiate questions of artistic, racial, and personal authenticity. Through close readings of song lyrics and the performers’ statements about their lives and work, the literary critic Michael Awkward traces how Franklin, Green, and Snow crafted their own musical identities partly by taking up songs associated with artists such as Dinah Washington, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, George Gershwin, Billie Holiday, and the Supremes.
Awkward sees Franklin’s early album Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington, released shortly after Washington’s death in 1964, as an attempt by a struggling young singer to replace her idol as the acknowledged queen of the black female vocal tradition. He contends that Green’s album Call Me (1973) reveals the performer’s attempt to achieve formal coherence by uniting seemingly irreconcilable aspects of his personal history, including his career in popular music and his religious yearnings, as well as his sense of himself as both a cosmopolitan black artist and a forlorn country boy. Turning to Snow’s album Second Childhood (1976), Awkward suggests that through covers of blues and soul songs, Snow, a white Jewish woman from New York, explored what it means for non-black enthusiasts to perform works considered by many to be black cultural productions. The only book-length examination of the role of remakes in American popular music, Soul Covers is itself a refreshing new take on the lives and work of three established soul artists.
Why are poems important? What do people mean when they use the word prosody? How does a poem read and sound? How does a poem's shape--its form--help to create its meaning? Sound and Form in Modern Poetry provides useful answers to these questions for readers of poetry. Through careful attention to the poems of modern masters, the book offers an accessible guide to the way today's poems really work, and to the way they are linked in style to poems of earlier times.
Poet, critic, and editor Robert McDowell has updated this classic text in the light of the poetic and critical developments of the last three decades. Segments on Dickinson, Robinson, Frost, Jeffers, and Lowell, among other poets, have been greatly expanded, and Ashbery, Creeley, Ginsberg, Hall, Kees, Kumin, Levertov, Levine, O'Hara, Plath, Rich, Simpson, and Wilbur added, among others. The epilogue discusses a new generation of poets whose works will likely be read well into the next century-- among others, Thomas M. Disch, Rita Dove, Dana Gioia, Emily Grosholz, Mark Jarman, Molly Peacock, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Timothy Steele, Mary Swander, and Marilyn Nelson Waniek.
Over the last ten years, the most inspiring topic of conversation and argument among poets and their readers has been the resurgence of narrative and traditional forms. The new Sound and Form in Modern Poetry is a seminal text in this discussion, examining not only this movement but all of the important developments (Dadaism, Surrealism, Imagism, Language Poetry, and the Confessional School) that have defined our poetry in the twentieth century and have set the stage for poetry's continued life in the twenty-first. The original Sound and Form in Modern Poetry enjoyed extensive classroom use as a text; the revised version promises to be even more accessible, and more essential, for years to come.
The late Harvey Gross was Professor of Comparative Literature, State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Robert McDowell is publisher and editor of Story Line Press, and is also poet, critic, translator, fiction writer, and essayist.
Intrigued by "texted" sonorities—the rhythms, musics, ordinary noises, and sounds of language in narratives—Julie Huntington examines the soundscapes in contemporary Francophone novels such as Ousmane Sembene's God's Bits of Wood (Senegal), and Patrick Chamoiseau's Solibo Magnificent (Martinique). Through an ethnomusicological perspective, Huntington argues in Sounding Off that the range of sounds —footsteps, heartbeats, drumbeats—represented in West African and Caribbean works provides a rhythmic polyphony that creates spaces for configuring social and cultural identities.
Huntington’s analysis shows how these writers and others challenge the aesthetic and political conventions that privilege written texts over orality and invite readers-listeners to participate in critical dialogues—to sound off, as it were, in local and global communities.
Born on the unlit streets of Buenos Aires, tango was inspired by the music of European immigrants who crossed the ocean to Argentina, lured by the promise of a better life. It found its home in the city’s marginal districts, where it was embraced and shaped by young men who told stories of prostitutes, petty thieves, and disappointed lovers through its music and movements. Chronicling the stories told through tango’s lyrics, Mike Gonzalez and Marianella Yanes reveal in Tango how the dance went from slumming it in the brothels and cabarets of lower-class Buenos Aires to the ballrooms of Paris, London, Berlin, and beyond.
Tracing the evolution of tango, Gonzalez and Yanes set its music, key figures, and the dance itself in their place and time. They describe how it was not until Paris went crazy for tango just before World War I that it became acceptable for middle-class Argentineans to perform the seductive dance, and they explore the renewed enthusiasm with which each new generation has come to it. Telling the sexy, enthralling story of this stylish and dramatic dance, Tango is a book for casual fans and ballroom aficionados alike.
In an era when poetry as a cultural force in the West appears to be waning, Telling Rhythm presents a hopeful and invigorating new approach to reading and interpreting poetry. At the same time, the book reviews a tradition of theorizing about poetry and suggests some innovations in literary theory itself that point to new ways of thinking about poetic texts.