Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Poetry Ring

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Poetry Ring

Article excerpt

Language, as Korzybski made clear, can be self-reflexive. We can use language to discuss language, and then we can use language to discuss our language about language. This process can escalate with no end in sight. We can make statements about statements, statements about statements about statements, and so on. We can ask questions about questions, and questions about questions about questions, in infinite recursion. If our words are meant to be mirrors of reality, they can also mirror themselves in much the same way as when two mirrors are held opposite to one another.

Poetry too is subject to the principle of self-reflexiveness. Poets, by the very nature of their craft, live in the world of words and use words to make reference to that world. On one level, poets attempt to appeal to the senses and convey their observations and reflections about the world through their poetry. In the process of doing so, poets reflect on which words and combinations of words will most successfully achieve this goal. In recognizing that emotions and feelings are not separate from thought, poets seek to select language that will effectively and compellingly convey the more subtle extensions of their perceptions and experience.

Readers bring with them their own personal and projective abstractions, and this leads to varying receptions and interpretations of the poem. This is one challenge that provokes poets to pay close attention to their language choices. …

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