New York

“Glossolalia"

Anthology Film Archives

Hans Schuldt organized and introduced this series of six late-afternoon poetry readings, in which he participated along with Richard Foreman, Robert Kelly, Stephen-Paul Martin, Howard Stern, Paul Schmidt, and Harry Mathews. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “glossolalia” as “the faculty or practice of speaking with tongues,” meaning ecstatic religious babble. When applied to poetry, the term suggests, on the one hand, Plato’s idea, in the Phaedrus, of the “divine madness” of the poet, and, on the other, Karl Shapiro’s idea that poetry is an “antilanguage” rather than a language. In this series of readings, however, it was used to mean poetry that derives from arbitrary rules’ of method designed to neglect, either fully or partially, the issue of meaning.

Homophonic translation is one glossolalic approach. The translator from, say, German, attempts to make the English sound as much like

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