11 jul. 2005

I really do love meaning. Nothing of what I love in poetry strays very far from the orbit of meaning. For example, I don't read poetry in languages that I do not understand at all. Neither do you, most probably. Even pure sound in poetry takes place in a meaningful context. That is, it cannot be "heard" separately from the understanding of the words. I know this because of learning a foreign language and watching myself be able to hear it better the more I understood it.

2 comentarios:

Thin Black Duke dijo...

Yes. I think you are right on the money here.

But, the analytic philospher in me sees a fixation on meaning here. Ok, I admit, the Austin in me sees a fixation on meaning, and I'm wondering about usage. How do you think language actually works, how does the language of poetry *do* meaning? And is this doing another, differnt form of meaning?

How does the "pure sound" of poetry mean anything? In any context? Where does this all bring the poet, the lover of words. I'm inclined to agree with you, but I can't help but to find myself in a circular argument;
"language means because it has meaning"?

Yet, in the context of learning a foreign language, this makes sense. I don't know, I'm probably not making myself clear right now, but the contradiction is intriguing to me. And I'll glady elaborate on the contradiction I see here if none of the above makes any sense.


Jonathan dijo...

What I meant was the pure sound is not so "pure": I'm not sure that poetry means differentlly than other uses of language. The way poetry means is already inherent in the way language already means. It just comes out more perceptibly in poetry. See Kasey Mohammad's brilliant posts in the past few days.