Thursday, April 25, 2013

Scholarship in poetics: is it really that hard?

So twitter showed me a new article at Harriet today:

Rhyme by Anthony Madrid

In it, Mr. Madrid makes the claim that non-visual rhymes (tough and fluff) are better than visual rhymes (blow and show) because they create cognitive dissonance.

That would be nice if it weren't untrue (indeed, maybe they do on a second, third, fifteenth reading--but that's not what he's getting at in his article).

We "hear" what we read. It's one of the reasons poetry has to "sound good" even if it's "closet verse."

But asking the average poetry scholar to know about cognitive science appears to be a losing battle. I wish it weren't so.