Music at the Heart of Thinking

By (author): Fred Wah

The music of thinking. The thinking of music. Music at the Heart of Thinking is a poetry that works through language as the true practice of thought and improvisation as the tool that listens to and notates thinking. From jazz, the unpredictable ad lib driving itself from itself. From a drunken Shaolin monk, the poem as imbalanced tai chi. From Keats’s negative capability, the half-closed eye, the estrangement of language. All intended to bump beyond the end of the word into focus. As a response to readings in contemporary texts, art, and ideas. Music at the Heart of Thinking relocates critical language and thinking to the poetic bavardage at the heart of such endeavours. The poetics that generates these texts arises out of a lifelong poem project that has its roots in the long poem genre of the ’80s and its interest in the resistance to closure and the containment of meaning characteristic of the lyric. This book continues the work of two previous out-of-print publications, Music at the Heart of Thinking (1987) and Alley, Alley Home Free (1990). The poems are generated as textual responses in the reading, looking, and listening of the poet’s attention to his cultural milieu. Thus the writing addresses contemporary texts and art over the past forty years. Within this poetry of estrangement lie possible coherences for some sense of writing as a notation for thinking as feeling. The difficulty of this writing is literal and intentional, wary of any attempt to make thinking simple, easy, or predictable.

AUTHOR

Fred Wah

Noted Canadian poet&#44 Fred Wah is a Governor General<&#146>s Award recipient &#40poetry&#41 and author of many published works including the award<&#45>winning biofictionDiamond Grill&#46 Involved in publishing and teaching internationally in poetry and poetics since the early 1960s&#44 he is currently professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Calgary&#46


Reviews

“Like [Jack] Spicer before him, Wah proves that in the right (write) mouth the poem itself might be the best critical tool we have.”
—Arc Poetry Magazine

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“A book of outlandishly playful and extravagantly difficult poems.”
—Canadian Literature / Littérature canadienne

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“Wah’s has always been a poetic simultaneously engaged with breath and quick thought, language and deep meditation on being, identity and theory, and Music at the Heart of Thinking provides an ongoing example of just how powerful a master can be.”
rob mclennan

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“Marvels every page”
—Knife Fork Book

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“Like [Jack] Spicer before him, Wah proves that in the right (write) mouth the poem itself might be the best critical tool we have.”—ARC Poetry Magazine


Awards

  • Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC and Yukon Poetry Prizes) 2021, Short-listed
  • Excerpts & Samples ×

    The music of thinking. The thinking of music. Music at the Heart of Thinking is a poetry that works through language as the true practice of thought and improvisation as the tool that listens to and notates thinking. From jazz, the unpredictable ad lib driving itself from itself. From a drunken Shaolin monk, the poem as imbalanced tai chi. From Keats’s negative capability, the half-closed eye, the estrangement of language. All intended to bump beyond the end of the word into focus. As a response to readings in contemporary texts, art, and ideas. Music at the Heart of Thinking relocates critical language and thinking to the poetic bavardage at the heart of such endeavours. The poetics that generates these texts arises out of a lifelong poem project that has its roots in the long poem genre of the ’80s and its interest in the resistance to closure and the containment of meaning characteristic of the lyric. This book continues the work of two previous out-of-print publications, Music at the Heart of Thinking (1987) and Alley, Alley Home Free (1990). The poems are generated as textual responses in the reading, looking, and listening of the poet’s attention to his cultural milieu. Thus the writing addresses contemporary texts and art over the past forty years. Within this poetry of estrangement lie possible coherences for some sense of writing as a notation for thinking as feeling. The difficulty of this writing is literal and intentional, wary of any attempt to make thinking simple, easy, or predictable.

    Reader Reviews

    Details

    Dimensions:

    272 Pages
    9in * 229mm * 6in * 152mm * 0.6875in17mm
    415gr
    14.75oz

    Published:

    August 25, 2020

    City of Publication:

    Vancouver

    Country of Publication:

    CA

    Publisher:

    Talonbooks

    ISBN:

    9781772012620

    9781772015799 – EPUB

    Book Subjects:

    POETRY / Canadian

    Language:

    eng

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