Borders (Single)

bpnichol's Borders coverBorders is a record released with the concrete poetry box set bp or JOURNEYINGS & the returns from 1967. Many of the sound poems on this record have also been released on other bpNichol albums or cassette tapes.

Two of the poems included on this recording are "Dada Lama (to the memory of Hugo Ball)" and "Scraptures--Fifth Sequence." These two works move much more towards semantic abstraction than "Lament." In "Dada Lama" there are six sections in the poem, and each are quite distinct from each other. Section one begins by balancing a high nasal sound of "hweee" and "hyonnn" against the tripping front dentals of "tubadido;" while sections two and four alternate the high and low pitches of the vowels E and A. Section three is made up of non-words, which is a direct hommage to the work of Hugo Ball. These non-words are spoken in poetic rhythm as if they were words, and as if they had syntactic continuity. Section five is comprised of sounds that suggest the ticking of a clock, and then section six develops its pitch and alternates the sounds of M, W, E, and A into a recognisable chant of the word "freedom."

"Dada Lama" is a poem built on alternations of opposing pairs, some of them contrasting sounds (hyonnn/tubadido) or the contrasting ideas of time and freedom. Furthermore, the titlle of the poem gives the listener a frame of reference; the Dada poet becomes the Buddhist Lama and sound leads us into a meditative state which can free the worshipper from the limits of time.

Meanwhile, "Scraptures--Fifth Sequence" echoes some of the effects in "Dada Lama," but without further development. This poem can be "read" either entirely as variations of vowel sounds and the consonants B, D, and Y. The recording also uses a fair amount of overtracking and echo effects.