Saturday, June 7, 2008

Leevi Lehto's Sound Poetry

I first saw the Finnish experimental poet Leevi Lehto in December 2006, at a large reading in Philadelphia that was part of the leviathan of the MLA. He was probably the most memorable of all fifty poets reading that night, even outdoing fellow sound poet Christian Bok (no slouch himself in the performance department). Sound poetry of this variety hearkens back to the Dada movement in the early 20th century, and though for the rigidly traditionalist poetry fans, I'm sure for some it seems like nonsense, it is a kind of blessed nonsense that brings poetry back to its love affair with intonation and sound--that materiality of noise that coheres and melts again and coheres again...

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