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Syrinx Analysis

Author: poem of Amy Clampitt Type: poem Views: 12

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Like the foghorn that's all lung,

the wind chime that's all percussion,

like the wind itself, that's merely air

in a terrible fret, without so much

as a finger to articulate

what ails it, the aeolian

syrinx, that reed

in the throat of a bird,

when it comes to the shaping of

what we call consonants, is

too imprecise for consensus

about what it even seems to

be saying: is it o-ka-lee

or con-ka-ree, is it really jug jug,

is it cuckoo for that matter?—

much less whether a bird's call

means anything in

particular, or at all.

Syntax comes last, there can be

no doubt of it: came last,

can be thought of (is

thought of by some) as a

higher form of expression:

is, in extremity, first to

be jettisoned: as the diva

onstage, all soaring

pectoral breathwork,

takes off, pure vowel

breaking free of the dry,

the merely fricative

husk of the particular, rises

past saying anything, any

more than the wind in

the trees, waves breaking,

or Homer's gibbering

Thespesiae iache:

those last-chance vestiges

above the threshold, the all-

but dispossessed of breath.

Anonymous submission.


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