Original poem reprinted online here: "Hospital for the Ear & Neck" by Shanna Compton
Originally read: January 21, 2013
More information about the Poet: Shanna Compton
In stanza one there's "tones" and "tune." In stanza three there is "knobs" and "notes." In stanza four there is "grass" and "groups." These words sound similar when read out loud; however, when I read them over and over again, I understand them as separate entities.
Yet, still the poem plays with sound in a different way, anaphora. In stanza five, the repetition of "we are" brings in a group feel; however, I wonder who the "we" is referring to -- the speaker and ?? From the way the poem is structured, I read the we as the speaker and the speaker. The person who is writing the poem and the person who is reading the poem.
I wrote this down in my notes for that stanza, "1) moved - emotionally 2) moved - physically" So past me saw a duality in language instead of sound. So, note wise, what I wrote on the page refers to me reading in my head. What I'm writing here refers to listening to the poem.
I think the last stanza I had the most trouble thinking of when I read it out loud (and on the page if you see my notes). When I read it out loud I punctuated the (r's) in the poem (our -- punny) which drives in the inclusion of the we, and that metaphors only work if there's a collective basis to understand the comparison.
So I'm looking at the poem (after listening to it) as a poem based in deconstruction -- that there's multiple meanings in the language both what's on the page and listened to. And when I try to find a meaning behind either or, the poem rejects it and states -- look what on the page or listen again. The poem is clever.