Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

An Account, Korzybski Old Chap, of This Thing of Ours

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

An Account, Korzybski Old Chap, of This Thing of Ours

Article excerpt

WENDELL JOHNSON SAID that "the better part of science is the language of science," and like science, poetry has a language all its own. We therefore might consider the corresponding claim, that the better part of poetry is the language of poetry. Certainly, following the lead of the brilliant philosopher of symbolic form, Susanne K. Langer, we can understand that the language of poetry can be used to express and represent thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that the language of science cannot. We can understand as well that the language of poetry can evoke aspects of human experience that no other language may be able to grasp, or even touch.

While poetry has appeared in these pages regularly over the years, we have inaugurated this feature to expand our explorations into the language of poetry, and more generally artistic expression. General semantics, being truly general, concerns all forms of meaning making, all manner of symbolic communication. Moreover, unlocking the creative potential within individuals has also been a longstanding focus of general semantics.

The name we have given to this feature, Poetry Ring, is meant to resonate with the nonlinear nature of both general semantics as a non-Aristotelian approach to language and thought, and poetry itself. And in keeping with this theme, the three poems that follow all have their origins in the nonlinear electronic environment of online communications, specifically MySpace, where you can find a thriving community of poetry bloggers (see also the IGS site on MySpace, http://www.myspace.com/generalsemantics).

The term ring also refers to websites that are linked to one another, an added connotation that is entirely appropriate in this context. Perhaps even more significantly, the word ring invokes the world of sound, and so reflects the origins of poetry as an oral medium, a form of speech and song. …

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