Dear Dispatches –

And quantity–

I definitely feel myself in that whole line of ‘classical poets’, down through Spenser and Harvey and so on and then Pound and Bunting wanting to try at quantity.  (The way I look it as: it’s not a matter of “oh, I’m writing in quantity vs accent.”  Quantity is unavoidable.  You’re taking time to say/read something.  “he who controls time….” as Olson says.  You have to have that feel.  Monk had that quantity then the Accent comes in on certain notes, phrasings.             People who say “I write by accent.”  Sure.   I mean, Wordsworth is “using” quantity.   What are we talking about here?    It’s all going to have time involved.  You can’t avoid it.   You then have to have a sense of the time.  And then everything else happens.   I can walk down the street. That’s time.  If I notch eyes for a split second on a cardinal, that’s an accent.  It’s all ‘a measure of time’.         I feel like people, when they speak or write of meter, have almost abstracted what involves sound/time into some from its actual workings.  I mean, just pay attention, to dance (maybe most explicitly).  Applies to movies, too.  Then you also have color (caeruleus) that enters in.  It becomes (or is–we’ve actually pretty much ruined and deranged our understandings of it) the organic thing it is.
– Steve Manuel