The Poetics of Noise from Dada to Punk

By John Melillo


By reinterpreting 20th-century poetry as a listening to and writing through noise, The Poetics of Noise from Dada to Punk constructs a literary history of noise through poetic sound and performance. This book traces how poets figure noise in the disfiguration of poetic voice. Materializing in the threshold between the heard and the unheard, noise emerges in the differentiation and otherness of sound. It arises in the folding of an “outside” into the “inside” of poetic performance both on and off the page. Through a series of case studies ranging from verse by ear-witnesses to the First World War, Dadaist provocations, jazz modernist song and poetry, early New York City punk rock, contemporary sound poetry, and noise music, The Poetics of Noise from Dada to Punk describes productive failures of communication that theorize listening against the grain of sound’s sense.

Table of Contents

1. (Re)Versing Noise: Ear-Witness, Metrical Form, and the Western Front
2. Dada Bruitism and the Body
3. The Persistence of “That Da-Da Strain”: The Modernist Travels of “Da”
4. Projective Versification, Sound Recording, and Technologizing the Body
5. Noise and the City: Writing and Punk Performance, 1965-1980
6. Noise Music, Noise History: Articulations of Sound Forms in Time



Miguel Isaza M

Listener, speaker.