John Hollander writes that lyrical echoes 'constitute a kind of underground cipher-message for the attentive poetic ear [...] a private melody or undersong
hummed during composition by the poet'; in Lear's diaries and notebooks, Tennyson's lyrics appear like ghosts of auditory memory recalled during times of emotion.
September 15--October 27 Bethany Collins: Undersong
In her autobiography, Lorde explained, "I learned to read at the same time I learned to talk, which was only about a year or so before I started school." Audre Lorde, Zami Sister Outsider Undersong
(Berkeley: The Crossing Press and New York: W.
you who hear tell the others/you are drowning in my children's blood/ without metaphor" (Undersong
: Chosen Poems ).
to noon), is a canonical hour that holds a lesser position in the overall canonical scheme and thus is sometimes called "the undersong
." Sext is a name that is confusing as a name because it originally noted the sixth hour of the day, noonday, but the canonical hour that belonged there at some point was shifted to become the third of the "Day Hours" without changing its designation.
[The above exchange pivots on the following meaning components: TUNE (S1 = melody, tone; correct musical pitch, S2 = temper, mood), LIGHT (S1 = as in light o'love, the name of a popular dance-tune, S2 = not heavy, S3 = wanton, promiscuous), BURDEN (S1 = bass part or undersong
, S2 = heavy load), BARNS (S1 = large farm buildings, S2 = children), H/(ACHE) (S1 = letter of the alphabet/S2 = pain, soreness), STUFFED (S1 = having a heavy cold, S2 = having had sexual intercourse resulting in impregnation), BENEDICTUS/(BENEDICK) (S1 = [in full carduus benedictus (Eng.
Izenberg turns away from the poems, then, to Oppen's daybooks, where he finds an inaudible-disclosive "undersong
" that enacts "the determination to listen" in place of expression and assertion.
Moreover, the course of love and its manifestation, one of the principal themes of The House of Life sonnets, is frequently described using musical metaphors; for example, it is equated with "married music" in "The Love-Letter" (XI.8), "rapturous undersong
" in "Youth's Antiphony" (XIII.14), "sweet confederate music...
He explores the reference in Othello to the biblical locusts, and concludes, "we may doubt that an audience is supposed to make the link directly the words appear; but something in the play's 'undersong
,' or register of composition, seems to want to make it" (199).
In The Anxiety of Influence, Bloom notes, "there is an undersong
of foreboding." In The Anatomy he makes it explicit.
A soft, harmonious music, full and rare, Murmurs the boughs along-The voice of Nature's God is solemn there, In that deep undersong
That is the undersong
of the biography: Shakespeare made his way by assuring patrons of his Catholic sympathies.