Dialogue: The Spine of Fiction
by Meredith Sue Willis

Adjectives: 'And made it fresh in a world of white'
by Ellen Bryant Voigt
As Ernest Hemingway demonstrated to the point of parody, the noun is the strongest part of speech. . . . It is precisely their location IN the subjective that makes adjectives indispensable to Plath's lyric, just as the discursive poem needs its nouns to chew on, the narrative its verbs.

Straight Shootin': Logical Relationships Among Sentences
by Tim Scannell
Inasmuch as there are but eighteen (18) logical relationships among sentences, the import of one needs to push—sensibly—into the next.

Wordspace: An Innovative System of Writer Training
by Paul Pierog

Staying in the Here-and-Then
by Maureen Holm Sr. Essayist & Articles Ed.
The New York Times is replete with pluperfect bloopers, the Now Nation in a headlong rush into the prematurely past.

A Little Primer on What and How
by Thom Ward

What is 'lyric'?

Ten Mile Meadow, A Conservatory of Land and Language.
(The project has been awarded funding through NYSCA's Decentralization Program, and on February 12, The Author's Watermark, Inc., the chief organizer, received a check from the Albany/Schenectady League of Arts at a ceremony held at the State Assembly.)

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What is 'lyric'?

Typically defined as "a single speaker relating his experience of the world," the term evokes for many Wordsworthian pastorals, Byron's Childe Harold or Frost's elemental Yankee loner. Yet John Berryman, the master of "shipwrecked syntax," navigated the lyric's powerful currents as the "voice of the other." In Ragan's Hunger Wall, Kinnell's Book of Nightmares, it is the spillway of brute force, the collective undertow of horror.

Through the intimate bonding of sound and meaning, the lyric poem draws the deepest emotional, the keenest sensual response, its enunciated breath the music that "joins the liberties of sleep with the intensity of extreme wakefulness," (Valéry) the rhythm and sonority that "respond to man's immortal need for symmetry and surprise." (Baudelaire)

Lyric is mesmerizing in any language, however rudimentary one's linguistic, thus, mental apprehension. Once emotionally allied with the piece, the listener imputes his own meaning, as here to a stanza in Suvicnai ("Shoo-veets-NYE"):

Voc mani sloka, sloka tedü,
nu sonic lennia kim debai.
Edevi kum battoy sis bajani,
nev husko fai ranne dari mijü.
O nev nev ranne faisi dari mijai.

The lyric poem's first stirrings are rarely verbal; it arrives by emotional sensation, by the internal color, texture, smell of a mood, by an image, pitch, cadence, hum, by the savor of a long vowel. "The poet is occupied with the frontiers of consciousness where words fail, but meanings still exist." (Eliot) This is the zone we inhabit when we enter into dialogue with the poem to transliterate our non-verbal exchange onto the page. Poet accounts solely to poem as the final arbiter of its completion; poem scrutinizes and challenges poet.

Rilke's Apollo is headless, limbless, yet every contour of muscle and bone radiates a gaze and a smile.

Denn da ist keine Stelle,
die dich nicht sieht.
Du mußt dein Leben ändern.

For there is no part of him
that does not see you.
You must change your life.

Only by surrender to the dialogue can we create anything true, anything of lasting value. By recovering the lyric, we acknowledge needs and reaffirm values that alter, enlarge, transcend ourselves.

In eleven sessions in New York, Paris and Prague, Lyric Recovery™ sought to extend the lyric to full potential, presenting, engendering and visibly rewarding work marked by reach, craft, content and musicality. The twelfth culminated with the sold-out 2000 festival session at Carnegie Hall. Wednesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. marks the return. To repeat the effort is quite nearly as important as to have begun it.

Huddled since mid-century as "global village" around a dominant source of imagery, sound, even meaning, we must make uncommon use of language to ferry us beyond its perimeter to the essential, shared harmonics.

(Lyric Recovery Festival™ at Carnegie Hall is a p h i l o p h o n e m a presentation. Submission guidelines and seating details appear on the 2002 LyR web site.)

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