Baker Brownell



Irrational Verse



Literatur: Brownell
Literatur: Others


Though not an "other" – their crankiness would repudiate me – I can still find value in their verse and evil in L. U.'s criticism, '"Others" and Others' of March 16, New Republic. Because I am not an "other" and am undisturbed by twisted visions of words, let me quite seriously explain them. Their lack of 'Whitmanship,' failures in comparison, in comparison, say, with others or with L. U.'s ideal poet, is hardly good basis of criticism, for poets like most aesthetic things are not comparable entities. The rule to judge attainment by the poet's attempt – not, for example, to derogate Spoon River because the Iliad has been written – is only fair enough, in any case fair enough in technical problems.

But "others" are purely technical problems – this is my guess – technical in concerning themselves with limited and intimate matters of workmanship and with effects where value is merely the accomplishment distinct from ulterior social result. Considered quite objectively, as a grotesque shell kicked up on the beach, without comparisons or preconceived poetry in mind, "others" without doubt have a thrust and impression. Some of this may be queerness, contrast with unforgotten, intelligible verse, but more of it is intrinsic in the "others" themselves, and more a matter of sound than of meaning. I should guess that "others" are etudes in cadence and word tone, experiments in the sound values of words intentionally segregated from the logical sequences of grammar.

[23] This objective treatment of words is new. A treatment of words merely as sound materials, sensory stuff so to speak, divorced from all intelligible meaning except sound and rhythmic connotations is successful only so far as the poet can make his reader forget the general conceptions and images organized about a word and prod him vividly with its intimate and local perceptual suggestions, more indeed, it actual sound sensation. Where poetry in general weds the meaning to the sound, the "others" – I refer to the unintelligible ones – aim precisely to divorce the two.

An "other" could write Chinese "other" verse or a Chinese "other" could write English "other" verse better perhaps than his native tongue because the struggle to disassociate meaning from words would be eliminated. This might be supposed – and Mr. Arensberg or Mr. Kreymborg could no doubt introduce some Chinese words into their verse with good effect – but such a procedure would not be generally successful. For this reason: and here their verse has a subtlety and vindication not indicated clearly in the above hypothesis – their objectivity in the treatment of words includes not merely phonographic sound value nor accents such as one partially acquainted with the language might know, but the whole topography of sound values that surrounds a word intimately known in native language. Take, in Mr. Arensberg's line,

[24] "which have the butters of extra broken,"

the word butter – how much richer in actual sound values, in sensory connotations, in its bluntness, its adolescent explosiveness, its uncouth, funny, sincere unsophistication of sound is this word than a foreign word or an unfamiliar word such as orthography. Though Mr. Arensberg very possibly composed this line by grabbag or more possibly by wandering, inconsequent nibbles at the tufts that chanced to be highest, he has nevertheless succeeded in making the words interesting as they never were before. By detaching the conventional shield of meaning and grammar from his word he has exposed its familiar crevices and scratches, its good old domesticity of sound, its auditory realism, familiar and well known but known hitherto only half consciously. He has detached the word's pretentious, intellectual symbolism and left the dear, battered sound reality.





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

Bd. 5, 1918, Nr. 1, Dezember, S. 22-25.

Unser Auszug: S. 22-24.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

Others   online







Literatur: Brownell

Andrews, Richard: A Prosody of Free Verse. Explorations in Rhythm. New York 2017.

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetiken der Lyrik: Von der Normpoetik zur Autorenpoetik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 2-15.

Brogan, Jacqueline V.: Part of the Climate. American Cubist Poetry. Berkeley [u.a.] 1991.

Geinoz, Philippe: Relations au travail. Dialogue entre poésie et peinture à l'époque du cubisme. Apollinaire, Picasso, Braque, Gris, Reverdy. Genève 2014.

Newcomb, John T.: How Did Poetry Survive? The Making of Modern American Verse. Urbana, Ill. u.a. 2012.



Literatur: Others

Braddock, Jeremy: collecting as modernist practice. Baltimore, Md. 2012.

Budke, Leah: The Definitive Editor: Alfred Kreymborg and the Others Magazine-Anthology Duo In: Modernist Cultures 15 (2020), S. 515-537.

Churchill, Suzanne W.: The Little Magazine Others and the Renovation of Modern American Poetry. Aldershot u.a. 2006.

Churchill, Suzanne W.: The Lying Game: Others and the Great Spectra Hoax of 1917. In: Little Magazines & Modernism. New Approaches. Hrsg. von Suzanne W. Churchill u. Adam McKible. Aldershot, England 2007, S. 177-195.

Churchill, Suzanne W. / Jaffee, Ethan: The New Poetry. The Glebe (1913-14); Others (1915-19); and Poetry Review of America (1916-17). In: The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Hrsg. von Peter Brooker u.a. Bd. 2: North America 1894-1960. Oxford 2012, S. 299-319.

Newcomb, John T.: Others, Poetry, and Wallace Stevens: Little Magazines as Agents of Reputation. In: Essays in Literature 16.2 (1989), S. 256-270.

Newcomb, John T.: How Did Poetry Survive? The Making of Modern American Verse. Urbana, Ill. u.a. 2012.
Kap 4: There Is Always Others: Experimental Verse and "Ulterior Social Result" (S. 79-117).

White, Eric B.: Transatlantic Avant-Gardes. Little Magazines and Localist Modernism. Edinburgh 2013.
Kap. 1: Contra Mundum: Others and the Transatlantic Village (S. 19-49).



Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer