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All clanking at me, in me, over me, Until I shrieked a shriek I could not hear, And swooned with noise,--but still, along my swoon, Was 'ware the baffled changes backward rang Prepared, at each emerging sense, to beat And crash it out with clangour.
What is heard in the rest of the world, is, at best, a random clangour.
Competing with "the Barbarous Clangour of a Gong": Why "Theme of the Traitor and the Hero" Begins in "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen"', in Journal of Modern Literature, 32:3, pp.
The deployment of these figures in Mother Poem recalls a conflation of corpse and bell at one point in Islands, where the hanged body of Paul Bogle, leader of a nineteenth-century revolt, is called a "dead bell": "chapel bells bringing freedom's / dark clash, bayonet's clangour of iron / on chain, Bogle's legs swinging steep from their steeple of pain, / dead clapper, dead leader, dead bell, / leaden tongue, the snapped neck / slacker and slacker" (A, 233).
Orthodox chant also lies at the heart of the desolate slow movement of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, a desperate appeal to eternal values amid the superficial clangour of totalitarian populism.
And they do, the clash and clangour of electric guitars echoing through the ages.