Maggie O’Sullivan’s Notational Poetics

Author:A. J. Carruthers Time:2019-07-10 Click:

The poetry of Maggie O’Sullivan, a poet associated with the British Poetry Revival, activates prosodic dissonance and incorporates music, which is to say musical scores. In works like From the Handbook of That & Furriery and Palace of Reptiles, musical scores are collaged into the body of the poem. Using the phrase “notational poetics,” this analysis is as much concerned with poems that sound as poems that don’t, but poetry nonetheless that both treats the spatial field of the poem scorelike and / or includes actual musical notation. When poetry meets music myriad questions crop up: Is poetry a kind of (analogous) “music,” as often suggested? What draws poetry to music, and vice versa? Is some mutual estrangement the result of poetry and music having become further alienated over time?

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