restricted access The Consequences of Particularity


Is a poem equivalent to the particular words of which it seems to be made? I argue that it is not. If we take a poem as constituted by its particular words in their particular order, we produce a surprising (often ignored) logical pressure on how those words can function and mean. If we follow out this particularity, we discover that poems are odd logical constructs. The more explicit we attempt to make the logical particularity of a poem, the more logically strange it becomes. In fact, if poems are logically constituted by what they say, and not by what they mean, they become parodies of language: faux language.