Melopoeia


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Melopoeia

 

in ancient Greece, the creation of melos, or melody; the melodic embodiment of a poetic text. Ancient Greek music theory included a special branch that was basically a systematization of phenomena related to melopoeia. The term came into use again in Western Europe during the Renaissance, usually with reference to the teaching of composition, which was also known as musica poetica. In the 19th and 20th centuries the term “melopoeia”has been used rarely. It is considered synonymous with “melodies.”

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The distinction among phanopoeia, melopoeia, and logopoeia--sight, sound, and intellection, in Zukofsky's terms--was Pound's, but putting that distinction to work as a way of characterizing various era's language use was Zukofsky's own complication of Pound's theory: and that complication, in turn, was fundamentally indebted to Adams's "phase theory" of history.
Pound's later poetic formulations in How to Read further define the process through the terms melopoeia, phanopoeia, and logopoeia, which deal respectively with aural, visual, and verbal dimensions of poetry.
07]] 1 Calvsij Melodiae Erfurt [Sethus Calvisius, Melopoeia sive melodiae (Erfurt, 1592), RISM B/VI/I ([section]), 198] 11 Introductio Musicae in [4.
Before moving on to Pound's key achievements in Cathay and Propertius, I suppose I'd better explain that the absence of the sanctified taxonomy of Poundian verse --symbolism, imagism, vorticism, logopoeia, melopoeia, Ideogrammic Method, phanopoeia, et hoc genus omne--here is motivated by a conviction that these counters were always at best uselessly vague and volatile, at worst obfuscatory.
It is also related to that of phanopoeia, one of the three major poetic modes formulated by Pound (the other two being melopoeia and logopoeia) who defines it as "a casting of images upon the visual imagination" (Literary Essays 25).
Zukofsky took seriously, perhaps more seriously than Pound, the poesis, the shared madeness and therefore the materiality, of all three members of Pound's triad: melopoeia, phanopoeia, and logopoeia.
Here the poet is both painter and rhapsode; Pound's phanopoeia and melopoeia are lovingly blended.