John Cage (1912-1992)
           pauline served lunch on The
                          to the waY  balka was using her knife and fork. 

                       Of pairs, june '72:
                 colly Bia platyphylla, 
                   plutEus cervinus, pholita
mutabilis and several hYpholomas.

                                       dOors and windows are open.
                                   "why Bring it back?
                             i'd forgottEn where it was.
                                        You could have kept it."

--from "25 Mesostics Re and Not Re Mark Tobey"

Born in Los Angeles, John Cage was teh son of an inventor who develped an explanation of the cosmos called "Electrostatic Field Theory." This history predicts Cage's own innovations in music, a field he chose after early ambitions as a writer and painter. In 1933, he became the student of Arnold Schoenberg, who later called Cage not a composer but "an inventor - of genius." Committed to experiment, especially the Dadaist example of Marcel Duchamp, Cage went on to pioneer a new conception of music based on the use of chance and other nonintentional methods. in this, he was aided by his study of Zen Buddhism and a pacifist social philosophy based on the writings of Thoreau. As William Carlos Williams had done in poetry, Cage explained the definition of music to include all categories of sound, such as random everyday noises. As he writes in "The Future of Music": "Klangfarbenmelodie has not been taken the place of bel canto. It has extended our relaization of what can happen."

His work in language includes A Year from Monday (1967), M: Writings '67-72, Empty Words: Writings '73-78, and X: Writings '79-'82.

Quoted at length from Postmodern American Poetry, A Norton Anthology. Copyright © 1994 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Ed. Paul Hoover.

John Cage Homepages and References Silence Mailing List