May 8th 2014: Lacy Rumsey

Rumsey-page-001The Poetry and Poetics Colloquium and the French Interdisciplinary Group are pleased to welcome Lacey Rumsey to Northwestern for a workshop on poetic rhythm, Thursday May 8th, 2014 from 12:30-2:00pm in Crowe 1-125.

Poets have long attended to the formal potential of the pitch patterns of the human voice, with the best known example in English probably being Robert Frost’s concern for the interplay between poetic meter and “sentence-sounds”. However, it is in non-metrical poetry that intonation may play a particularly important role. Intonation has attracted only occasional attention from critics and prosodists, principally because of the perceived difficulty of predicting how a poem will be voiced. This talk will argue that, though a prosody based on intonation may be a fragile resource, it is by no means a negligible one, and that poets including Pound, Ginsberg and Prynne have used it to powerful effect.

Lacy Rumsey is Associate Professor in British and American Literature at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon. He has published many articles on twentieth-century poetry, with a particular focus on the analysis of rhythm. In 2009, he organised the conference “Rhythm in Twentieth-Century British Poetry” at ENS Lyon; the acts are to appear later this year. He is also ENS Lyon’s Associate Director of International Strategy.

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