⊙ AntiQuark

Truth, Beauty, Charm, Strange


Contemporary Poetry: Eunoia

Eunoia, by Christian Bök, is a book where all the words in each chapter are limited to using a specific vowel. For example, chapter A starts out like so:
Awkward grammar appals a craftsman. A Dada bard
as daft as Tzara damns stagnant art and scrawls an
alpha (a slapdash arc and a backward zag) that mars
all stanzas and jams all ballads (what a scandal). A
madcap vandal crafts a small black ankh – a hand-
stamp that can stamp a wax pad and at last plant a
mark that sparks an ars magna (an abstract art that
charts a phrasal anagram)...

And you should see chapter U.

It seems more like a gimmick than like art. It's not like there's a deep message to using words with certain vowels. (Other than, "hey look at me, I'm using words with certain vowels!") I doubt this can be translated without obliterating the vowel scheme. Maybe I'm being sidetracked by the gimmick and there is, in fact, a deep message that I don't see because I'm dazzled by the uni-vowel stuff. Whatever. If you read it out loud with an indignant tone in your voice, it sounds good. And maybe sounding good is really all that counts.

(Navigation note: click on text images to go to next page.)

UPDATE: here are some MP3 files of the author reading this poetry.


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