I’ve long been intrigued by a desire to create in language something akin to chords in music. That it, the spoken word is a melody, one (word) note following another. Music, in contrast, can be deepened into notes one atop another, or running parallel to each other. One of the classic forms of this is the fugue, essentially with the original line being repeated a few measures later in another pitch … and then another line of repetition following that one. The weaving can be deeply moving, even exalted.
With words, we can have multiple speakers doing something like that, but at what expense to understanding what’s said? As for the written word, the result would be more like a painting than a sentence or paragraph. Still, some writers and artists try.
My Preludes & Fugues attempt to gain the feeling of a fugue through the repetition of the basic line, sometimes inserting slight variations to suggest different registers of sound. The inspiration in my ear is more the shimmering piano compositions by Dmitri Shostakovich than the ones that prompted his – the mighty organ works by Bach, not that I don’t feel those moving through these as well.
To open this free 99–page poetry collection to read and, if you like, to add as a PDF edition to your library, simply click here: PRELUDES AND FUGUES