Stephen Ratcliffe

[where late the sweet] Birds Sang

O books
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Stephen Ratcliffe, born 1948, lives and works in Bolinas, California

“In [where late the sweet] BIRDS SANG, the text is neither erased, in Broodthaers’s way, nor is it kept, in Bervin’s way. The relation between the cover of the book and the body of texts between the covers suggest that it is one reading of the sonnets, recuperating some of the effects of the sonnets, though such reading can never be substituted for the sonnets themselves. The sonnets have not disappeared; instead their intricacy is revealed in negative — as if in a photographic process — by making manifest what was only latent and not blatant at first view. For instance, the book unveils some of the networks of thematic subtexts as well as some of the phonic and graphic subtleties of the text, pushing the analysis a bit further than the usual points of interest in the rhymes for the eye, anaphoras, well-known figures of speech (polyptota and the like), or alliterations and assonances.”

– Vincent Broqua, Jacket 2, 2011