The Hum

“The very names of things belov’d are dear
And sounds will gather beauty from their sense”

Roger Seymour Bridges

there’s a hum that hastens to be heard
sometimes tinny now but still there
always there- the buzz jangle of words
from the first decode of the childish alphabet
the lexicon speeding across pages, fluid
trails with portrayals in their tales
that honeyed world of playful phonetics
preening themselves on the palate
titbits to titillate the tongue
or reach round vowels, spitting out the coarse
and bitty consonants, spooning up
a syllabub of sibilants

many a hue and cry has hullabalood my ears since
utterances from a once secret stash
when the mouth suddenly gapes opens
openly defies the keen-eyed censor, gate-crashes
gatekeepers, surprises the humdrum speaker
or sends coded notes to doleful dreamers
and within a carefully cryptic confabulation
lets slip the accidentals, words put out of place
in place of words put there as decoy
– from such phonetical amalgams of affliction
the silenced rebel with tongues of fire
until the crossword therapy is done

now am parodist with an heir presumptive air
sitting pretty at the keys, metronoming metres
for pedestrian ditties and sounding solo recitations
in rooms with no ears, as mantras, prayers,
pin-cushioning paeans into effigies of poets past
and all the while words wallow in a verbal vortex
like whales humpbacking the five oceans
definitions drift and bob with capricious tides
we must fathom-gather what we can
in a resounding sense of beauty

Anything goes at dVerse poets for their Open Link Night

26 Comments on “The Hum

  1. “we must fathom-gather what we can
in a resounding sense of beauty” – that is outstanding.

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    • I suppose it is loaded with alliteration not least because I first learned to love the sound of words when put together like music – thank you Victoria

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  2. this is brilliant, a language feast…”a syllabub of sibilants” is now permanently stuck in my head…JIM

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  3. I had to read it aloud. It just feels like it needed to be spoken. The image fits so well with your words. I like this, so much. And those last three lines are fantastic.

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  4. That was quite a journey through your piece here. My thoughts went in a number of different directions, only to land on the fact of the enjoyment of rge reading. A wonderful smorgasbord for the tongue.

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  5. I couldn’t quite place the music hear, at first I was thinking Stravinsk(e)y, or even John Cage, that progression from whirling into dissipation, those whirling bitty consonants and wall of sibilants, but it isn’t just the sound… but the meanings that form the shape of this, and I realized the joy in the accidentals and the wings (felt rather than explicated) and the tongues of fire (explicated) but silent (not hardly), and I realized it may start like a a Rite of Spring, but it never dies a death, and it certainly does not dissipate into long stretches of silence and ether like a Cage, so it is a joyful wall of sound, so it became clear what we had hear.
    you have given me John Coltrane just before midnight, not the repeating contemplative of a Love Supreme, but rather… My Favorite Things… long and high whistles flying in upon each other, just around the corner from those Giant Steps. By the fate that we hold a pen in our hand instead of a reed in our lips, it must be an inverse symmetry, starts as a jam, but then must be carefully crafted, but simply feels like that syllabalistic wall pounding out the spaces, and the rant and the joke and wink and the tear, are all there, it portends to be a hum, indeed, and if you start reading it silent, you can’t end it that way, it has to be spoken and then cackled out for joy and smiling that cannot hold itself to wryness, till it is spinning in that singular vortex that actually manages to hold and not diverge.
    Truly, as you say it hear, a Gathering, of what we can, I think you and my sweet John, tonight, may have sung it all.

    Oh, and yeah, nice poem Girl! I am reading it again before bed, it has to be re-sounding.

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  6. WOW!!! i PASSED OVER YOUR BRIDGE(S) THE FIRST TIME…. placed oddly at the beginning, hehe
    “sounds DO DO DO-WAP-DE-DOPP gather beauty from their sense”
    I think this is the third Ars Poetica I have seen this evening… must be something in the water. 😉

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  7. So rich in sound, alliteration and enjambment. I especially love…”and all the while words wallow in a verbal vortex like whales humpbacking the five oceans “

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  8. sustaining focus and intricately weaving your ideas takes skill. it does feel like the words could be strummed. enjoyable to read them tumble down the page, Laura.

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