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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Urgency of Poetry, a draft


How the biggest mistake most people make, and they make it virtually every moment of their lives, is to believe that their language is both truth and adequate. (Is this one mistake incessantly made, or an infinite number of iterations of the same mistake; the mistake repeated endlessly?) A language can be true without being adequate and adequate without being true. No language can ever be both true and adequate. (As in particle physics we can have speed or location. Never both.) Adequate to what? True to what? To reality. A language can be true if it is partial. If it wants to be true to a contingency. Never to the thing itself, never to its totality. A language may be adequate in that it leads to the desired goal, even the perfect goal. An adequate language will get you through the maze into heaven. But it will deceive you if it leads you to believe you have understood the maze. It can tell you to love but it cannot tell you in this moment what action of yours is love. We can have contingent truth, contingent adequacy.

How reality is NEVER a given, always mediated, always a perception-through-language.

How our self is dependent upon language—how our first memories coincide with our development of language.

How words co-create realities: examples (illimited), courage/cowardice, Nature/culture. Word/thing. Human/animal. Man/woman. Adult/child. Adolescent. Disease. Sanity. Freedom. Homosexuality. Democracy. 

How poetry (and art) enters and challenges reality.

How one either uses language to shore up one’s prejudices or one uses language to see past them, i.e. to take them down, to constantly paint and paper and build and remodel and tear apart and replace and return. To sell and to buy. Never to stop. Never to finish.  

Word and/vs story. Words are concepts, concepts words. Worlds are rooms; worlds are stories.

How who we are is literally the words we use and the stories we use those words to tell.

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