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Month: May 2006

PoMo Refreshed

PoMo Refreshed

Premodernism: Reality is imposed from above, i.e. by the church, king, or feudal lord. Modernism: The attempt to realize a universal shared reality based on observable phenomena. Jean-Francois Lyotard described these utopic universalized stories as “metanarratives”. Postmodernism: Reality is individually constructed and structured. Metanarratives are replaced by individual narratives and/or by narratives specific to specific sub-cultural groups.

Jacques Derrida

Jacques Derrida

What’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom? They aren’t heterogeneous, and you can know lots of things and have no wisdom at all. Between knowledge and action there is an abyss, but that abyss shouldn’t prevent us from trying to know as much as possible before making a decision. Philosophy is the love of wisdom. Philia is love and sophia is wisdom, so the duty to be wise is what philosophy is. Nonetheless, decisions don’t depend exclusively on knowledge. I…

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Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and Renga

Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and Renga

Japanese poetry forms have become very popular for writers of poems in the English language. Al Rocheleau, an expert on the technical and aesthetic aspects of good poetry has an excellent article about the use, misuse, and abuse of the haiku. Rocheleau has a terrific short essay on the history and use of the haiku on his web site at http://members.aol.com/lucyhardng/pointers/form4.htm#forms6. An excerpt from his description follows: Haiku is an objective, Japanese short poem based on a nature theme, with…

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Acrostics, Mesostics, and Double Acrostics

Acrostics, Mesostics, and Double Acrostics

An acrostic poem has a word, phrase or name spelled out vertically down one of the edges; usually the left edge. A double acrostic has one word down the left edge and another word down the right edge. A mesostic has a word or phrase down a central spine. The word is usually indicated by using upper case letters. Ok. So you got your basic acrostic and it looks like this: POETRY Poets often write proseOr they will write a…

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Mesostics and Fluxus

Mesostics and Fluxus

What do mesostic poems have to do with Fluxus? Fluxus is about “intermedia”. Intermedia is a term used to describe the spaces between media and the places where different media intersect. Mesostic poems were a favourite form of the composer, John Cage. Cage was a seminal early influence on the Fluxus movement. He saw his mesostic poems as being musical compositions with words and letters being the notes. Like music. he “composed” his mesostic poems so that they could be…

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Mesostics: What Exactly is a Mesostic Anyway?

Mesostics: What Exactly is a Mesostic Anyway?

A mesostic poem is a form of inclusion poetry, or acrostic poem in which the "hidden" or included word, phrase, or name is seen vertically in a central spine instead of at the beginning or end (or both for a "double acrostic") of each line. The form was popularized (if such a thing is possible with such esoteric poetry) by John Cage, who used the term to describe a particular form of inclusion poetry that had compositional rules beyond simply…

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