Euphony: Poetic Sound & the Subconscious

Euphony: Poetic Sound & the Subconscious

Listen to your poems’ concerto of sounds as a way to explore their subconscious drives.

The inner life of the poem is as complex as your own – poems obsess, forget, make Freudian slips; poems can deceive themselves. What your poem seems to say and all the things your poem means are two different things. A poem is, at its simplest, a sound – whether that hearing occurs on or off the page – and, at its most complex, is as densely harmonic (or dissonant) as an orchestral piece.

In this dynamic, practical, and playful workshop we’ll use Wagner and Lear, Phil Specter and I. A. Richards to examine a roster of contemporary poems, listening hard for clues to their subconscious. Using aural tools and techniques –  including the individual instruments of sound-sense, rhyme and rhythm, white-space patterning, acrostics, enjambment, and euphony – we’ll explore the many different tracks at work in a poem and use that space to add, explain, frustrate, obfuscate, complexify, mystify, trick, or even contradict the work at the poem’s surface and, in so doing, deepen the relationship between your own poems and their readers.

Over the day we will work on building your poems into full concertos, laying down tracks, one on top of the other, until the music of your poems sing and they begin to think for themselves.

Saturday 28 November, 10.30am – 4.30pm.

All classes will be in our offices at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. The venue is a 2-minute walk from Canada Water Station. Take the ‘Lower Road’ exit from the station onto Surrey Quays Road, then walk straight ahead, crossing over Deal Porters Way, and the Dock Offices come up on the left. The door for the school is at the far end of the building.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

A 10% discount is available to residents local to the Poetry School (anyone currently living in Rotherhithe, Riverside, Surrey Docks, South Bermondsey, Grange or Livesey). Please contact [email protected] for further information.
Image Credit: Samuel Sianipar

About Martha Sprackland View Profile

Martha Sprackland is editor at Offord Road Books, La Errante and Poetry London. She has published two pamphlets, Glass As Broken Glass (Rack, 2017) and Milk Tooth (Rough Trade Books, 2018), which was shortlisted for a Michael Marks Award. Martha’s poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in Poetry Review, London Review of Books, Five Dials, the Guardian, New Humanist and many other places. Her translations from Arabic have appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation, and she is currently working on poems from the Spanish. Her debut collection is Citadel (Pavilion Poetry, 2020).

‘I have engaged with Poets I would never have come across on my own. It has engaged me with a deeper appreciation for the work of others and my own work. The work of the poetry school has given me a lot more confidence as a writer.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

Related Courses