Cobbing’s work drew on elements of concrete and sound poetry; he foregrounded language as material, as sign or mark, while developing sound as an element of non-semantic meaning. Cobbing wrote of his practice in “Some Statements on Sound Poetry”: “Gone is the word as word, though the word may still be used as sound or shape. Poetry now resides in other elements.” Those other elements, as Robert Sheppard noted in his obituary for Cobbing, included not just “any mark—whether letter-shape, lip imprint, or inkblot…on the page,” but “moaning, sighing, shouting, even sneezing.” Cobbing’s first work of visual poetry was the sequence “ABC In Sound” (1964); other works include Kurrirrurriri (1967), So: Six Sound Poems (1968), Whisper Piece (1969), Etcetera: A New Collection of Found and Sound Poems (1970), Chronology Sound Poetry (1974), And Avocado (1977), and The Kollekted Kris Kringle Volume IV (1979), among others. Cobbing died in 2002.
Audio & PodcastsPoem Talk
Gone Is the Word as Word: A Discussion of Bob Cobbing's "Portrait of Robin Crozier"
Hosted by Al Filreis and featuring Jaap Blonk, Danny Snelson, and Steve McLaughlin.