[from Alice Fulton’s “Give: Daphne and Apollo” in After Ovid: The New Metamorphoses, ed. Michael Hofmann and James Lasdun]
. . . Remember how
music was aroused in the old technology?
The stylus vibrated, shaking a crystal in its head,
and the groove culled this trembling.
The stylus made electrons fly
from the atom, climb a wire through
the crystal to the gate. There
the slight current was amplified,
bridling the large —
and vinyl gave
rise to sonatas, rise to bop.
This gives the odd god
and hound dog, dolphin and electron,
the novation and the moment
of change. Since the truly new
looks truly wrong at first,
it gives the sublime and grotesque,
hoping you’ll receive them kindly,
hoping for the best — newness
being not so much a truth
as it is emotion.
Can you feel for the dark
lines of lace of brides? Will you
receive the hybridized and recombined,
the downsized and the amplified?
The greenery and systemic herbicide:
the laurel wreath. . . .
After Ovid: New Metamorphoses