CUMULUS 1.pdf


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DENISE RILEY

Tick tock
A formal structure generates your thought.
Your mind will follow where the metre leads.
A poet hardly merits that ‘well-wrought’
tick of approval from her critic, if he reads
her work for ‘crafting’ as its afterthought
to content; as if her lighter artifice needs
to trap in prosody what she’d first fought
to formulate in prose; as if a text proceeds
to turn ‘poetic’ a philosophy. Her retort:
that rhythm’s own dictation soon exceeds
prior deliberation – cadence will thwart
prosaic forethought, as its ear lip-reads –
so ‘sense must seem an echo to the sound’.
A natural music shapes this turnaround.