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Syllabic Decomposition

The syllabic decomposition means a decomposition of words into syllables, for example by the Dadaists or authors such as Ernst Jandl, Valerie Scherstjanoi, Franz Mon, Gerhard Rühm or Michael Lentz. The pattern goes back to the Dadaistic "sound poems", in which only syllables and not whole words are used to create rhythmic sound structures. A special form is the Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters, written between 1922 and 1932, which in turn was inspired by the sound poetry of Hugo Ball. The sound material of the Ursonate varies a Lettristic sound poem by Raoul Hausmann entitled "fmsbwtözäu / pggiv-...?mü", which Schwitters translated into abstract sequences of syllables, creating one of the four'themes' of the Ursonate: "Fümms bö wö tä tää zää Uu, / pögiff, / kwii Ee.". Such syllable and sound poems can also be found in concrete poetry and in the Viennese group, which also limited the materiality of language to the sound of sounds and syllables while ignoring the semantic level, as in the poems of Valeri Scherstjanoi. Ernst Jandl's poems also use these methods of concrete poetry; a sound poem based on syllabic decompositions is the poem auf dem Land (in the country). A more combinatorial method is the Silbenpalindrome of Oskar Pastior, who often combines familiar expressions from various languages in his sound poetry.


Mon, Franz: Lettern Laute Silben Wörter: Anfänge der Konkreten und Visuellen Literatur im deutschsprachigen Raum, in: Poesie – konkret, Köln 2012, S. 187-195.