The Rarity of Dying
The brief space of silence in a stanza break in a poem by Rilke and Wordsworth respectively, serves as a trope for the passage from life to death. Although signs and symbols of irremediable loss, each stanza break resonates with a remainder, a resonant silence, a silence that is audible. Epitomized by the empty space of the stanza break, a poem’s rarity does not consist in what is legible on the page but in what is implied, and audible, by what is not legible.
KeywordsRhyme Word Lyric Poetry Poetic Form Fell Swoop Musical Element
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Rainer Maria Rilke, Sämtliche Werke, Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag, 1957, vol. 2, 506.Google Scholar
- 12.Susan Stewart, Poetry and the Fate of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 101: “The silence of listening permeates the poem — it exists in the silences between sounds and stanzas and the turning of the page.”Google Scholar
- 14.See Pieter Vermeulen, Geoffrey Hartman: Romanticism after the Holocaust ( New York: Continuum, 2012 ), 91–92.Google Scholar