3) Can concepts of architectural acoustics (reflection, diffusion, diffraction of waves) be applied to poetry? Specifically, is the turn toward spatial rigor in concert hall structures by acoustical architects like Leo Baranek, Harold Marshall, and Michael Barron (the isolation of orthogonal parameters so as to fine tune sound reflection and reverberation via the control of initial time delay gaps) an argument of sorts for further (and urgent) investigations in strict prosodic structure, without which poetry is fated to continue its downward spiral into incomprehensible sonic and semantic muddle-- investigation, that is, not in the banal sense of traditional Western forms, but in the sense of Oulipean mathematical rigor. Whether yes or no, explain. aside: Sorry I’ve been so slow to update the quiz. It’s just been one thing after another! I’m hoping this week’ll be better What we’re being asked here is to do with the planned construction of the poem, the poem made within certain constraints in order to achieve certain (sonic) effects (or affects). I’m not sure to which “muddle” Kent is referring, however. The greatest ‘muddlle’ I have encountered of late is in the poetry of poets like Billy Collins or Dana Gioa who seem hard pressed to write poems with any discernable sense of sound. I’ve read Collins poems that have a syllable count, but that’s no ersatz rhythm. At any rate, my answer to this question is yes, concepts of architectural acoustics can be applied to poetry. One of the most exciting aspects of applying architectural acoustics to poetry with “Oulipean rigor” is that the possibilities seem limitless. I would argue, however, that people like Dick Higgens, Yoko Ono, John Cage, and most of those flux people have already set the architectural acoustic ball rolling (terrible mixed metaphor, I know). Certain instructions in Ono’s Grapefruit, for example, are wonderful examples of a type of architectural poetry. I’ve told Sawako Nakayasu that some of her writing is also oddly architectural/ acoustic (she agrees that it’s musical). Basically, architectural writing is not, as far as I’m concerned, an imitation of architecture or a borrowing from architectural ideas (necessarily). Rather, architectural poetry/writing would approach, in one way or another the perception of architectural space (which space is not architectural?)... I don’t feel I’m doing a good job here of explaining myself. I’m trying to say that architectural poetry is not poetry of communication, but poetry of perception. To quote John Cage on music: music “ was dealing with conceptions and their communication, but the new music being created has nothing to do with the communication of concept, only to do with perception. Thus, the flux writers, with the odd instructions that cast the reader back into her environment has something to teach the architectural poet. 4) Are words in a poem a) rooms b) furniture c) walls d) vestibules e) windows f) corridors I don’t see why not.

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