poetry & language in "stars in my pocket..."


This is something that I mentioned in class, but what particularly interests me about in Delany's book is the protagonist's relationship with poetry and carefully chosen language. I can't really even articulate it very well due to the sheer abundance of detail that is given, but poetry seems to be connected in his brain somehow with sex, desire, and a sort of ethereal musical harmony. This was the passage I found where it stands out the most:

"The first sound came. (Why didn't he open his eyes?) I have heard some evelmi say that the untutored human voice is generally more pleasing to them in song than the trained one--even though they respect the training's intention. The rougher vibrations resemble the multiplicity of sounds from multiple tongues. What I heard first, by whatever part of the ear meters and measures and counts despite all conscious intention was...well, as clear as any pattern I'd heard that many times...dactyl, spondee, dactyl, trochee..." (pp. 254-255)

Long passage, I know. I noticed that dactyls, spondees and trochees are different syllabic combinations used in formal poetry. What I got from my first glean of this passage was a deep-rooted desire for order and organization. The multiple vibrations resonating in harmony, the counting and metering of language, and his appreciation of poetic formality might be ways of finding sanctuary, by pretending that there is order in the midst of chaos, maybe? Ironically I sympathized with him because I was looking for some order in the chaos of this book!

There is also a certain tactile quality that he recognizes in language and speech. shown by the images of tongues and vibrating voices. Sex has been so distanced from humanity in this book that it's possible that he's trying to re-connect them again, by reconnecting his words with his body. Anyway, I feel like this is a rambling mess, but I'm curious to see what you all think.