PDA

View Full Version : IS MODERN POETRY 'DEFINED' IN THE PERCEPTION OF THE VIEWER OR THE TRANSCRIPTION ON TH



clark
October 24th, 2017, 11:47 PM
...........TRANSCRIPTION ON THE PAGE (Words)



Marcel Deuchamp (1887 - 1968) stretched the 'definition' of Modernity in all forms of Art by arguing that the perceptions of the viewer completed the loop of 1. (in our arena) THE POET, 2. A VENUE of some kind, 3. A VIEWER. Tim Murphy summarized Deuchamp's legacy well in a recent post in The Poet's Workshop:

Since Marcel Deuchamp hung a urinal upside down in a gallery a hundred years ago and called it "art", artists and poets have been "deconstructing" art. Meaning, they have been breaking art down into its infinite components, stripping it of what is expected and even of what is recognized as art in order to unravel the mystery of what art really is. Deuchamp said that for art to happen, there need to be 3 things, and only 3 things: an artist, a venue, and a viewer. Without those 3 things, art can't happen. But as long as those three things happen, art happens. Notice that Deuchamp did not say there has to be an object. The existence of artist, venue and audience is enough for art to exist. It's the artist's intention that forms "the work" and not the object itself. So as long as a poet writes something down presents it, and someone else looks at it, that's poetry. Here's the world's shortest poem:

So the "world's shortest poem" is a blank page. By this argument, WORDS are no longer required. Intent and Perception are All.

At the other end of this argument would be the position that Poetry IS words, that words are the poet's aesthetic medium. She can stand them on their heads, scatter them around the page, use them outrageously, play acrostics with them--the possibilities are endless--but if there are no words (the 'objects' Tim noted in the quote just above), there is no poetry.

Topics of this kind generate a lot of conviction and a lot of passion. Go for it, but attack the issues, NOT the person promoting her views on the issues. Try the following tactic to keep focus clearly on the issues when you're counter-arguing: mention ONLY the post # you are arguing against, NOT the poster's name. This stratagem could be considered an example of what Milton called 'enlightened self-interest."

midnightpoet
October 25th, 2017, 02:39 AM
Okay, are we talking about "art" or just poetry? I can see a Mime as artist making himself the art, but poetry needs words. While it is true that the audience (that is, the reader) can interpret the poem any way he/she wants, how can they interpret a blank page? Or for that matter a blank canvas? Well, I suppose any way they want to but what actually good is it? If all you have is a blank page that what do you need the artist for? I see not real purpose without words, for there is no communication. Poetry, as any art form, must be a venue for communication. Words can stir the unconscious and move the spirit to find truth and meaning in existence. A blank page holds no real meaning for me, and I wouldn't think for many people.

To me, the argument that you don't need words for poetry is spurious.

Now, intent is in the hands of the poet, and perception is in the hands of the viewer/reader; however, intent can be misinterpreted and perception can be flawed. To me, everything starts with the words on the page. Here is where clarity comes in - the clearer the message, the more likely the reader will see the intent, and more likely will understand the message. If modern poetry is so obscure that no one can figure out the true message, then to me it has failed its purpose.


Therefore, it is the skill of the poet and the way he/she uses the words on the page that defines how the poem and its message is received and understood.

By the way, if you respond you will have to use words, won't you?:D

Olly Buckle
October 25th, 2017, 04:19 AM
Could one say that the blank page and the blank canvas represent a potential to which the artist can add, but which do not as yet show signs of the artist's presence, so one of the basic essentials is not there yet? Put the page in a book or hang the canvas on a wall and the artist becomes involved, however.

It strikes me that sculpture is different, in the sense that the unformed rock already contains the form, the artists detract the unwanted, rather than adding the significant, to create. Could a menhir be 'modern art'?

Grizzly
October 25th, 2017, 05:05 AM
The existence of artist, venue and audience is enough for art to exist.

I can dig it.

For me, poetry (words, etc) is really just "the finger pointing to the moon" (Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon — on Buddhism). The moon being the beatific present, the divine reality of the here and now... Art is just another tool to get both participants (artist and audience) really into the venue, like really really actually here and showing up for the only thing that's real (this present moment!).

Good poetry is the stuff that helps you 'wake up' and be here now. The words aren't the point of it — to get hung up on the words is paying all the attention to the finger and forgetting entirely about the moon. The real art (the words are just the conduit of 'art') has got nothing to do with the medium and everything to do with how 'here' you can be, how conscious you are in this very moment. When you feel tingling all over and look at the trees, the grass, the street signs.. when you are made to really feel into your sensations and see the world anew. That's the real poetry (for me).

That's my goal as a writer. I could care less if you remember me or my words, so long as you pause even just for a second and feel the reality of the moment for you, whatever that means.

Pete_C
October 25th, 2017, 02:13 PM
To me, the point of art of any kind, including the written word, is to provoke a reaction. That might be to create an emotion, enhance an education or deliver a different point of view (or view point). If the art does not provoke anything at all, then it's a moot point what the artist or other artists or experts think of it. If it fails the 'audience', then it fails.

Poets, writers and artists can debate all day long what a poem (or any other piece of art) means, what it is, what it achieves and how it adheres to any manner of philosophies, be they well constructed and innovative in perception or mumbo-jumbo. They can have a conference where they do nothing but debate its validity and place in the great pantheon of creativity. They can set up committees and discuss he matter from now until the end of existence. They can do all this and it will not change one absolute.

If the average reader doesn't give a shit, if they don't care, if they don't react, it's all a bit pointless. If they ignore the blank page, it has achieved nothing, and in achieving nothing it becomes something of a nothingness itself.

Here's the thing: other artists and writers, self-proclaimed experts, those who set themselves out to be thought-leaders and wise folk, those who ride to their ivory towers on high horses, will prod and poke and philosophise about the blank page. What does it mean? What is the writer trying to say here? How can I take a lesson from this? How can I use it to elevate myself in a world of blinkered and ignorant plebs?

The average reader, however, won't think twice. They will turn a blank page and move on.

For that one small fact, I respect average readers!

TL Murphy
October 25th, 2017, 05:31 PM
Clark, a blank page alone cannot be a poem. It's just a blank page. What makes it a poem is the poet's concept. Duchamps's argument is that art is conceptual, it's not limited to an object. He created art from "ready-made" objects but displayed them in ways which altered their meaning and questioned the nature of the viewer's perception.

If a poet (someone who is known to write poetry) puts a title on a page that refers to "poem" but writes no words in the body of the poem, then presents that as a poem and others read it. Well, that's a poem. It has meaning. It is, in fact, an object that manipulates language in a poetic way. But most important is the concept behind the poem. I have seen works of art (called "installations") where the artifact itself transforms and dissappears during the exibition. At the end of the show, there is nothing left, the object is gone, yet the concept remains. That's art.

midnightpoet
October 25th, 2017, 05:52 PM
I guess I'm confused. How can a poem have "meaning" with just a title? I don't think so. A concept has meaning, I suppose - but I cannot for the life of me call it "art." A poem with no words is just a poem with no words. It does nothing for you. It does not that I can imagine a simple title can make a poem that can change your concepts of being or give you the satisfaction that a complete poem has. We shall have to just agree to disagree.

I suppose this is my practical side coming out. What use is it? Hey, let's go down to the theater tonight. They're showing a title! Woopie do.

Kevin
October 25th, 2017, 06:27 PM
Some one will buy it. Some other persons will say that it is brilliant. I will say that I am not impressed. And the world of art will go on without me.

Midnight- I just got off a project where the owner made millions by putting sticky dots covering people's heads in photos he didn't take, but found. Then he put words on a page, a canvas; something like "How to keep a Pollock busy (over) " (same thing on the back). That was as near as I could liken it. Then he didn't say there was anything except the idea of a concept ( not any specific concept) to inspire it. Not even a joke. "Millions." It did inspire my wife to emotion: anger and disgust. Something similar to fantastical, I think; nothing for me, though, but confusion. The art world says it is art. I think in the Lascaux cave-art culture he would have ended up in the cook-pot, but that's just my opinion. Perhaps they were more open then.

TL Murphy
October 25th, 2017, 06:47 PM
Midnight, I am not talking about whether a an empty poem is a GOOD poem. That is entirely subjective. But by your own words you said "a poem without words is just a poem without words". You just called it a poem. And that's what I'm saying. There is meaning in this empty poem, otherwise we could not disscuss it. Our discussion verifies meaning. The meaning is not in the words, or even the absence of words. The meaning is in the CONCEPT.

midnightpoet
October 25th, 2017, 07:18 PM
My mistake, I shouldn't have called a few words on a page a poem when it isn't. Okay, even if a few words on a page make a concept, I can't really call it a poem. Maybe you can, I can't. Is it art? I think that's debatable. I'll hold off my snark attack if you can give me a concrete example of a concept from a title that actually means something (and tell me what it means) and actually performed a helpful service to mankind.

TL Murphy
October 25th, 2017, 07:30 PM
Midnight, it means something because we are talking about it. The discussion makes it meaningful, makes it relevant. I'm saying it's a poem. You're saying it's not a poem. That is meaning, brought to you by a concept that I call a poem, because it is presented as a poem.

Kevin
October 25th, 2017, 07:33 PM
I once saw these words done with a fingertip on a filthy car window: Take me dirty

There is metaphor, there is concision, passion ( in a sense), evocation ( is that the word?) , and... humor.
Brilliant. And I know some will hate it, but isn't it art? Not your snooty 'high art', but still... It is more than just three words. Again, jmo.

TL Murphy
October 25th, 2017, 08:15 PM
Kevin and Midnight, I come to this discussion with one assumption: poetry is art. So when we talk about one we are talking about the other. In such a discussion, to say "it might be art but it isn't a poem," makes no sense if you assume that poetry is the art of language. By discussing poetry under the umbrella of Duchamp's ideas, we are assuming poetry is art. If we want to question whether poetry is art, I'd say that's a differenr discussion that deserves it's own thread.

midnightpoet
October 25th, 2017, 08:31 PM
I'm sorry, I can get sarcastic at times. No, I was thinking things were getting a little overblown and pretentious. Poetry is art, I agree. To be effective is it's message, it needs more than a few words. Just concepts by themselves need to be more than just ideas. It's what you do with the concept that counts.

Kevin
October 25th, 2017, 08:39 PM
Poetry is art. No idea why you would think I think different. If somehow humor is excluded as a one possible objective of art then no, you lost me.

TL Murphy
October 25th, 2017, 08:48 PM
Kevin, I don’t mean to put words in your mouth. I was really thinking about what Midnight said and l lumped you in with him. My bad. And yes, humor is vital in my opinion. I think the very idea of a poem with no words is hilarious. Don't you? Often, what makes things funny is the paradox of knowing it's true yet it doesn’t fit with our notions of reality. So we have to question our notions.

TL Murphy
October 25th, 2017, 09:32 PM
Also, Kevin, I think it's sometimes necessary in these kinds of discussions to push extremes, which means you run the risk of dancing with the absurd. But it's in extreme situations that parameters and relationships become apparent. I'm a carpenter. When I get involved with complex structures like winding stairs or complicated roof-lines it can be very difficult to comprehend the angles and how they come together. In these situations I find it helpful to extrapolate the lines and planes out to enourmous distances and then I'm able to envision how they fit together. It's the same with abstract concepts. Extrapolate them out to the extreme, not because you want to be extreme but because it helps to grasp the concepts and their relationships.

clark
October 25th, 2017, 11:47 PM
A NEW PERSONAL PRACTICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I am no longer going to write "it seems to me" or "I think" or "in my opinion" or "to/for me" or any other 'softening' or evasive phrases to show that what I write is just my point of view or how I see things or, after all, just my opinion, and not Received Truth from the Hand of God.

Obviously it's "My Opinion"--I'm writing it. So I'm going to try to modify my style
__________________________________________________ ___________

So what is language? What are words? Descartes' famous "I think, therefore I am" was subsequently analyzed to be wordy and redundant: the acknowledgment of his existence is held absolutely in the single word I, which, when implicitly perceived as meaningful by both speaker and audience, contains the concept of personal identity. Everything that follows is window dressing. I disagree with this analysis. There is a huge difference between IDENTIFICATION (the single first-person pronoun, alone on a page) and that Identification married in some way to an idea. For the latter to occur, the word must have context. In the opening pages of Philosophical Investigations , Wittgenstein posits a language of one word--SLAB--which he says is utterly empty of precise meaning, until venue and supporting metalinguistic communication actions by the speaker provide signals of precise meaning. Okay. I get it. But what about the printed word--SLAB printed on a page/screen. Never mind Art for a minute. What would that single word on a page/screen communicate? Nothing. No, not 'nothing', it would communicate numerous possibilities, based on venue and the experiences of the hearer that they could bring to bear on the word. Depending on hearer/viewer, that 'communication' could be a crazy cacophony of possibility or a single, pure piece of marble. Or chunk of cheese. Or resting place in a morgue. Or....

Turning to poetry, an intense use of language which ideally elicits a strong emotional response in hearer/reader, I suppose you could extrapolate from the arguments above that a blank sheet with a title on it , could be construed a Poem IF, somehow, a CONTEXT is provided to reveal a concept at work. A concept that gives enuff direction to that title to open up SOME avenue towards the poet's intent.

As for a blank piece of paper as poem? No. I cannot go there. That's the ultimate cynicism, the abandonment of Art. King Lear's childish petulance when Cordelia doesn't express her love in accord with his expectations

nothing will come of nothing

TL Murphy
October 26th, 2017, 12:27 AM
OK Clark, look at it this way: I write a poem called "Jack Looks at Jill"

Jack Looks at Jill

Jack knows how to look at Jill
He looks this way
He looks that way
Jill knows the way Jack looks at her
Jack knows Jill knows what he sees.


Or I could write


Jack Looks at Jill

Jack knows 0000000 how to look at Jill

He looks
00000000 this way


He looks
00000000 that way


Jill knows0000000 the way Jack looks at her

Jack knows

Jill knows

what he sees.



So empty space makes a cognative difference in the subtle meaning of the poem.

Now I write:


Jack Looks at Jill

Jack looks

he looks

he looks

Jill knows

Jack knows

Jill knows


so now we see that not only empty space, but the absense of words, carries enhansed meaning.

Now I write:


Jack Looks at Jill

!

?

!


No words. Now I write


Jack Looks at Jill

!


Now I write:


Jack Looks at Jill




So the title creates the context and I present it as a poem. I might call it "Untitled". But the larger point here is not whether I can write a poem without words, but whether I can convey an idea using language when language is absent. In other words, silence, or emptiness. As long as there is a title (venue) which delineates what follows as a poem, then there is meaning conveyed by the absense of words BECAUSE poetry IS the art of language. The meaning is up to the reader to interpret but to say it means nothing is absurd.

clark
October 26th, 2017, 12:47 AM
NOTE: I posted this post SIMULTANEOUS with Tim's #19. So I had not read it.

I do not reject or disrespect Deuchamp's or Tim's argument. The argument is cogent and understandable and reflects a legitimate response of poetry to the fracture of traditional societal values over the past 50 years or more. But I do not embrace it as a given of modern poetry. I don't embrace it because I don't want to and I don't have to. HD and WCW et al taught us almost a century ago to turn from arcane, dense, obscure references to an object-oriented poetry that reduced and reduced thru concrete poetry to reduce, reduce reduce to minimalism and now a single sheet with a title as potentially a poem, hence a work of Art. That progression has moved us through to a leaner kind of poetry that I very much like and, when my Muse can muster the energy to work with me, achieve now and then. I don't see the value or even the need to place so much burden on the reader in perceiving the artistic parameters of my poem. I want more of a handle on my own work as a bridge between me and the reader. As Pete said a few posts back,

[COLOR="#0000FF"]If the art does not provoke anything at all, then it's a moot point what the artist or other artists or experts think of it. If it fails the 'audience', then it fails.

That does not mean the poet should be slave to the audience, far from it. It does acknowledge that putting a poem 'out there' is a public act on public ground, and I would like a shot at reaching a 'significant chunk' of that audience. I can reach only a sliver of that audience with a title and a blank page. They expect their language as the bridge between my imagination and theirs. If they reject my poem, they are rejecting a detailed complex of ideas, images, and intensified language that has not come together for them. They have material to work with.

TL Murphy
October 26th, 2017, 01:22 AM
Clark, fair enough. I don’t blame you for not wanting to write this kind of poetry. Neither do I. As poets, we are immersed in the nuances of language. But, as I said before, I'm not weighing the merits of GOOD poetry. I'm talking about the limits of poetry and art. What is poetry? What is art? What is its function in society? And I would suggest that an empty poem IS provacative as is demonstrated by the passionate discussion here.

clark
October 26th, 2017, 01:43 AM
This post is a response to Tim's post #19


TIM -- No, it is not "absurd" (you just can't resist walking up to that line, can you?), nor is the writer of the post 'absurd' for expressing it. You have presented a plausible argument from a working, thinking poet's point of view about language/concept/word. We could throw in a specialist from Descriptive Linguists, probably Chomsky would eagerly join in. Your argument is just fine; I can follow the reductionism step-by-step. Hell, I think it works, as well. And I am interested in reading your argument because I'm a poet, and a specialist in words and language.

The only problem with your argument is that it is peripheral to mine. You're arguing the nature of language and poetic art, both as a theorist and a practitioner.

I'm arguing the perception BY THE AUDIENCE of the blank sheet with the title only. Would it be perceived by or experienced as a Poem, as Art, by other than a tiny audience, probably practitioners themselves?

I can't answer that question empirically, because I'd need a means of polling large audiences.. You can't either. You can come closer, because much of your argument is theoretical, but in the end you would have to settle your argument by polling audiences. I don't think the 'title on a blank page' would fare well. I doubt that audiences would regard it as absurd, but I do think they would reject it as Poetry. I can't prove my contention of course. Neither can you. Which is ok--this has been and I hope will continu to be, a very interesting discussion. Helpful.e

TL Murphy
October 26th, 2017, 06:13 AM
Clark, just remember where this discussion started. Duchamp and a urinal hanging on the wall, which made an original statement about the role of art and challenged all conventional notions. You challenged me in another thread to take up this discussion and I have stuck to it, so there is a sense of pure reason that leads me and I cannot sway from it. So far, it has not let me down.
I have no interest as to whether the public LIKES my blank poem or not. Hell, only six people in the world read my poetry anyway. What do I care if it resonates? I'm talking about conceptual art and its role in changing the way we perceive reality. That is a fundimental concept that deals with the role of art as a socio/political force and is outside the scope of any given poem or it's appeal to the public.

Robbie
October 26th, 2017, 06:44 AM
This entire discussion is a “critique of pure reason.” Kant tried to specify/amplify the depth and breadth, limits and range of pure reason. Someone maybe Tim, mentioned the limits of art i.e. poetry and I subscribe to a thought that it is limitless. It’s why Tim’s wordless poem provoked or invoked or evoked so much commentary and diverse opinion. There are no boundaries in art imo—that imo is for Clark. I still need to to clarify.

Olly Buckle
October 26th, 2017, 09:43 AM
The discussion has come a way since I last looked, but looking at books in the meantime it occurs to me that they nearly all have blank pages, at the beginning, the end, opposite chapter headings, all over the place. Without them the books would look cramped and mean, they are there for artistic purposes, enhancing other parts. The blank page can have artistic value.

Pete_C
October 26th, 2017, 10:09 AM
The discussion has come a way since I last looked, but looking at books in the meantime it occurs to me that they nearly all have blank pages, at the beginning, the end, opposite chapter headings, all over the place. Without them the books would look cramped and mean, they are there for artistic purposes, enhancing other parts. The blank page can have artistic value.

I hate to burst the 'artistic' bubble, but usually blank pages exist in books because they're printed in sections. To avoid a bunch of blank pages at the end they're distributed throughout where acceptable to the reader. Some have more than others; depends upon the planned imposition.

It's not romantic in an 'aesthetically pleasing' way, but a printing and publishing necessity! It's the same reason why novels used to have page ads for other works at the end.

TL Murphy
October 26th, 2017, 04:49 PM
Pete is right. We are not talking about functional blank pages in a novel as holding significant meaning. The artistic value of a blank poem is intentional and conceptual. In a sense, it’s an anti-poem, a negative poem. By posing the opposite of what we think of as a poem, it calls attention to the question “What is a poem?” This is what Duchamp did when he hung a urinal on the wall. He posed the question, “What is art?” And we’re still talking about it a hundred years later.

clark
October 26th, 2017, 08:53 PM
Robbie -- I agree that this is an important discussion, for all of us. Your reference to Kant is intriguing. If you understand his Critique, please pass it on (his thinking/writing in German was so obtuse that students used to translate his writing into English, where apparently it was easier to follow). And yes--please do clarify your skeletal comment on the "boundaries" of poetry.

sas
October 26th, 2017, 09:03 PM
Murph....

Outstanding synopsis. Agreed.

PiP
October 26th, 2017, 09:22 PM
The artistic value of a blank poem is intentional and conceptual. In a sense, it’s an anti-poem, a negative poem. By posing the opposite of what we think of as a poem, it calls attention to the question “What is a poem?”

On purely a practical note: If it's a blank page how does the reader know it represents a poem?

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 01:57 AM
Carol, I think I've covered that exhaustively. A blank page could only be considered a poem if it is presented by a poet, with a title that denotes what follows as a poem and is presented in a venue that peresents poetry. The context makes it a poem. This whole discussion arose because in another forum another poet wrote a poem about "bad Poems" sighting, lack of rhyme, rhythm and meaning as examples of bad poetry. I commented by sighting Duchamps famous urinal on the wall that he called art. My point was, which was entirely missed by the original author, that, questioning the role of art, through art, is art. The same thing goes with poetry. Questioning the roles and limits of poetry through poetic form is poetry.

Robbie
October 27th, 2017, 04:08 AM
Clark, I do not understand Kant. All I remember is that he thought it was difficult for anyone to have an objective perspective, that we will always view the world through our own individual lens. Our conceptualization is limited. Concepts are restricted by the power of imagination but the application of a concept is constricted. Our minds can picture a unicorn but that does not mean unicorns exist in the real world. So is the world fashioned by the mind or interpreted by the mind? I don’t know and doubt if Kant did. What do you think?

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 04:14 PM
All I really know about Kant is that Soren Kirkegaard launched the concept of existentialism in reaction to Kant. Kirkegaard claimed that we can only know Truth through subjective interpretation. Which implies that there is no such thing as objective truth, or at least, if there is, we can’t know it.

Pyromanic
October 27th, 2017, 04:53 PM
Sensations and objects drawn from Life are the materials of art. Transmission of these conceptions is its purpose. And That's why a blank page is not art or poetry. Someone might look at something like the Moon and say "That's poetry," but what they are really saying is "That is Poetic," meaning it resembles Poetry, or is worthy of poetry.

Art in general is thus the transmission of conceptions and poetry a particular form of art that uses the medium of words: Words thus become an essential element of poetry. A blank page could just as easily be a piece of art (painting) or a piece of poetry. So where does the differentiation reside? In the medium of words vs. lines / visual figures, both of which are only shells for the transmission of conceptions and exhibit their own unique characteristics.

So Words being an essential element of poetry, we have to look at the properties and elements of words qua poetry. Words convey meaning in that they are symbols of conceptions. The fact that words are an essential element of poetry is the true origin of the sonorous and rhythmic elements that we associate with poetry. Words possessing a sonorous aspect, this in turn becomes an element of poetry and exhibits an influence on the subject.

The whole process of poetry is thus illuminated in the differing emphasis of the characteristics of words qua shells for the transmission of information. While earlier forms of poetry highlighted more sonorous aspects of the word, modern poetry focuses on other aspects of the word. "modern" poetry moved from the oral venue to the page, which is why in modern poetry we see an emphasis on structural elements, line breaks, words existing on the page in unconventional ways, etc. The differing forms of poetry are thus the result of emphasizing different aspects of the word.

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 06:06 PM
Best argument yet. "Sonorous" being essential to poetry. Don't think I can counter that, other than to say the absense of sound adds significant attention to the necessity for sound and the role of emptiness. What you don't say is often as important as what you do say. And I think that gets as close as possible to my original concept.

Well said, Pyro. Let me think more on it.

clark
October 27th, 2017, 07:13 PM
Pyro -- You live up to your adjectival form: your reader can pop in whatever noun fits a given situation! Well bloody said indeed! Best post in this entire discussion. The relationship between word and sound is critical to the musicality of poetry, and even when a poet chooses to fracture normal expectations of sound--like suddenly throwing an extra foot into a line or tossing a rebel anapest in amongst the cooing iambs--that 'fracture' is apparent only because of the efficacy of the Word and how it is perceived within the structure of the poem. And Tim's mention of Kierkegaard's counter to Kant--that subjective perception was ALL, that 'objective reality' was only an intellectual concept, led me (a Bear of Little Brain) to an interesting perspective on the Title With Blank Page as "Poetry". Perhaps not. I doubt that too many people reading this would argue with the statement that poetry, as Art, appeals to feeling, emotion, intuition, rather than to linear argument, logic, and the machinations of the intellect. But the Title With Blank Page, I am suggesting, can be (should be?) viewed as an example of the null set, which exists intellectually, but has no existence. Female Presidents of the United States is an excellent example. We can look upon the Title With Blank Page as Poetry, only because we know what it is NOT. And we can know that only because we know what words ARE, and that processing is entirely intellectual, thus the contention that Title with Blank Page is Poetry seems to be in serious trouble.

midnightpoet
October 27th, 2017, 09:42 PM
Okay, I believe this discussion has helped me understand modern poetry better, and I realize that the poem is whatever the reader thinks it is. The poet arranges the words in whatever order he/she thinks will produce the feeling or emotion he desires the poem to project. The reader is free to assume whatever feeling or emotion that the poem gives him, whether it's what the poet intended or not. If he sees meaning in a meaningless poem, at least he was moved in some way and received some kind of satisfaction from it. To answer the original question, I see that it's a combination of the poet and the reader. So unless the poet is writing only for his personal satisfaction, the poem is a collaboration. Poet/words/audience. At least that's what I learned from the discussion. If others have a different opinion, that's their privilege.

PiP
October 27th, 2017, 09:53 PM
Okay, I believe this discussion has helped me understand modern poetry better, and I realize that the poem is whatever the reader thinks it is. The poet arranges the words in whatever order he/she thinks will produce the feeling or emotion he desires the poem to project. The reader is free to assume whatever feeling or emotion that the poem gives him, whether it's what the poet intended or not. If he sees meaning in a meaningless poem, at least he was moved in some way and received some kind of satisfaction from it. To answer the original question, I see that it's a combination of the poet and the reader. So unless the poet is writing only for his personal satisfaction, the poem is a collaboration. Poet/words/audience. At least that's what I learned from the discussion. If others have a different opinion, that's their privilege.

This is also my understanding, midnight.

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 10:08 PM
That's good insight, Midnight. I would like to add that the example of the blank poem is an extreme situation meant to illustrate that it is not conventional expectations that make a good poem or even make it a poem at all. A poem doesn't have to rhyme or beat or mean something. My example says a poem doesn’t even have to have words. There are arguments against that but the point is that "what makes a poem" is not a hard definition. It's subjective and comes down to the moment of interaction between the poet and the reader. It is the concept of the poem and the feeling conveyed. Words alone do not make a poem.

clark
October 27th, 2017, 10:50 PM
No, "words alone do not make a poem", Tim, but your arguments for the title plus blank space as poem really IS of the same genus as The Null set--a theoretical construct that "makes sense" on that plane, but crumbles severely around the edges when we expect feeling of some sort, in some way, to be part of the experience. To achieve some plane of feeling, words or the semblance of words or scattered letters that could form words, is required. I guess I should say, 'in my opinion, because I don't think the issue has been definitively resolved.

Robbie
October 27th, 2017, 11:32 PM
Exactly.

TL Murphy
October 28th, 2017, 12:08 AM
Clark, the null set is actually a good example that fits the concept of the blank poem. The null set holds value AS A SET even though it contains nothing. The fact that "nothing" is contained in the set gives value to "nothing". You can add two sets of nothing to two more sets of nothing and get 4 sets of nothing. There are in infinite number of null sets. In fact, there is a set of infinite null sets and you can add those sets together too and get an infinite set of infinte sets of nothing, and so on. This is how banks make money and you owe me a beer.

Robbie
October 28th, 2017, 03:14 AM
Are null sets infinite or finite? A ‘set’ is infinite, I think. So is an empty page finite? I don’t think so. An empty page is infinite and has infinite possibility. But this leads us to “empty sets.” Maybe this is a vector to a variable quantity in mathematics, but’s it’s also applicable to literature, words, poetry. It’s philosophical. According to Kant “poetry is the freest, finest art of all. Music and painting depend on sensuous charms . Poetry offers the most direct presentation of aesthetic ideas". I think it’s fascinating that Tim’s empty page thought has lead to in depth philosophical conversations.

For me an empty page is arousing, and no I don’t mean in a sexual sense, well maybe, I won’t rule it out, I mean emotional and psychological arousal. An empty page, a wordless page is or may be a poem because of conceptualization. Thinkers see things that others do not see. I see a lot on a page that might be blank to others. Now someone owes me a beer.

clark
October 28th, 2017, 03:40 AM
Tim and Robbie -- Exactly how the march of your logic leads to your mutually sudsy conclusion, is just a tad murky. . .but let's make that happen! wo knows? Others might like to join us.........................

TL Murphy
October 28th, 2017, 05:06 AM
Clark, it is sudsy and I'm having a bit of fun with you by mocking empirical argument itself. But I like the line Robbie takes about the blank page - is it finite or infinite, and this is why I said it is both the shortest and longest poem in the world because the form is finite, in fact empty but the implication is infinite in that there is no limit to emptiness. I think we have to recognize Pyromanics input here when he/she said the concept may be poetic but that doesn't mean it's a poem. I'm still working on that. A couple more beers and I might get there.

midnightpoet
October 28th, 2017, 01:57 PM
It's the working of the poet's mind that make a blank page have infinite possibilities. That in itself can be poetic but not necessarily an actual poem that gives the reader a feeling - humor, pathos. Intellectual discussions are fine, they help free the mind - but the reader wants more than that. He/she wants to feel something, to possibly find some meaning in his own life, and sometimes, simply to be entertained. But let us respect our readers, but if we look down upon "the great unwashed" as not worthy of our words, we run the risk of losing a little of our humanity as well as our effectiveness as a poet. Instead of looking down from our mountaintop, let's walk the "mean streets" where reality dwells; we then have a platform with which to launch ourselves into the heavens.

Here is where poetry transcends the physical. The poets of old told stories of heroes and monsters that hold to this day. A blank page is but bits of wood pulp that withers with time. The poet deals with the infinite, and the wonders that the mind holds are yet to be measured.

Olly Buckle
October 28th, 2017, 06:47 PM
But let us respect our readers, but if we look down upon "the great unwashed" as not worthy of our words, we run the risk of losing a little of our humanity as well as our effectiveness as a poet.

Not to mention your audience, who wants to read poets like that? The number of people who read poetry anyway is pretty limited. Confine your audience to those who thought they were posh? That would be metaphoric razmadrizzle :)

Darren White
October 28th, 2017, 07:01 PM
Clark, it is sudsy and I'm having a bit of fun with you by mocking empirical argument itself. But I like the line Robbie takes about the blank page - is it finite or infinite, and this is why I said it is both the shortest and longest poem in the world because the form is finite, in fact empty but the implication is infinite in that there is no limit to emptiness. I think we have to recognize Pyromanics input here when he/she said the concept may be poetic but that doesn't mean it's a poem. I'm still working on that. A couple more beers and I might get there.

It's also true that the finite or infinite is not limited to the paper or the screen. It can give a feeling of emptiness, or of fulfilment. Or even contentment, because you can grasp that emptiness. There are no words (except the far too long title) to distract you. You can disappear in that emptiness. Within the infinite you can create. That may be a poem, a painting or yourself (with or without beer)

clark
October 29th, 2017, 08:37 AM
The conversation has become very Zen (except for the imperative of beer). Which is where I always end up anyway (except for the imperative of beer) when I turn my thought to questions of the infinite. I love these conversations or, given the insolubility of the issues on the table, more accurately discourses [I] for their sharpening qualities. Within poetic concepts and the imagery through which we so often work, we can get too hung up on emotion, intuition, and feelings. Our world. It's healthy to sit back from time to time and work through empirical arguments (preferably with beer on the table) that deal with issues we try to capture in our poetry. Like massaging your brain rather than your mind.

ON AUDIENCE
In business, commercial, and technical non-fiction writing, Audience is everything. It is the FIRST factor to consider as you sit down to write. I think it downright dangerous, however, when writing poetry to consider your Audience at all. Ever. Unless you're writing for Hallmark or an ad agency or an employer of some kind. Then you're writing contract verse (requiring [I]quantities of beer on the table. . .), and I'm not considering that here. You write what you need to write. If you consistently write poetry so dense as to be indecipherable, you will have next-to no audience. But if that is what you want and need to do, then you should stick to your inner voice and accept that no one is going to read your stuff. Most readers found Pound's Cantos indulgent nonsense. Olson's Maximuspoems were pretty well read only in grad courses for years. Neither of them changed their writing style because of their narrow audiences. If you really want to reach people in your poetry, but it's too obtuse for readers to 'get it' at all, then you have some introspection to go thru about your work, and possible changes to consider. Regardless, at any given point in your development, write the way you need to write.

midnightpoet
October 29th, 2017, 12:49 PM
Well, yes - write what you want/need to; and I'll admit this discussion kept drawing outside the lines. I was intrigued by the original question because I've been reading modern poetry and a lot of it is very obscure. Since I never took poetry classes in college I have wondered about modern poetry - are the poets trying for feeling? Meaning? Are some writing cosmic jokes on their readers? I read somewhere if you have to explain your poem, it has failed. I did say here that trying to critique poetry is like trying to read someone's mind. It's probably complicated - each poet brings his/her own style, voice and meaning (if there is one) to the table. I've read professional critiques of poetry and often any two are in disagreement about what the poem says. As a reader, yeah I'm free to my own opinion. The poet writes what he needs to and if he's disappointed in the reaction, he might as well get over it. Anyway, my poetry is pretty clear because that's the way I write. Every once in a while if I find a publisher who likes it I'll consider myself lucky and keep writing. I still think poetry is best when it is shared - I think that was Homer's intention when he started.:icon_cheesygrin:

escorial
October 29th, 2017, 01:00 PM
Art without effort falls on the artist ability to explain his creativity as a personal experience based on their reasoning and the viewer without context will experience the work on a personal level outside the artist pov

TL Murphy
October 29th, 2017, 05:34 PM
Midnight, you owe it to youself to study a little about the various movements of poetry (and art, because these movements coincide and overlap). There is historical progression and enormous changes that have happeneded, most of them in the last hundred years that lead to what poetry is today. Ezra Pound, T.S Elliot, William Carlos Williams, Marian Moore, ee cummings, Charles Olsen, the Beats, the Sound Poets, The 50s - through the 70s saw incredible changes and in the world of poetry. These poets and movements made profound innovations in the way we look at poetry. Most of the serious poetry written today is in one way or another a response to one or more of these poets and how they turned the world of literature on its ear.

One also must be careful when talking about “Modern” poetry. Because Modernism is a specific movement in literature and “Modernist Poetry” refers specifically to poetry written roughly between 1890 and 1950 and largely ended in the aftermath of the Second World War, to be replaced by post modernism, which is a very different expression. Modernist Poetry includes other movements like the post Romantics (Yeats and Rilke), the Imagists (Pound), the Minimalists, (Williams). Modernism largely rose in reaction to the Romantic period and emphasized objectivity and impersonalizastion as opposed to lyrical expression of the Romantics. For modernists it was important to move away from the mere personal to the objective and intellectual. This meant breaking from traditional poetic schemes and freeing the poet of restrictions of previous forms.

Post Modern Literature grew in the late 20th Century in reaction to Modernist Literature and is largely marked by elements of complexity, contradiction, ambiguity and diversity. It overlaps with the, Deconstruction Movemenism which emphasizes discourse and the power of language in structuring thought and experience, ultimately arriving at the notion that “truth” is “culturally specific”. Sound poetry developed with the intellectual expansion of post modern literature and broke away from the expectation of “meaning” in poetry.

So, be careful, Midnight when you start throwing around accusations about “modern poetry”. Do some historical research.

midnightpoet
October 29th, 2017, 06:21 PM
Actually, I've been doing that. Never too old to learn.:abnormal:

I should have said contemporary poetry, but of course that could be misinterpreted. Current poetry?

TL Murphy
October 30th, 2017, 03:51 AM
Midnight, as well as addressing your comment on "modern " poetry, I was also addressing this statement:

I have wondered about modern poetry - are the poets trying for feeling? Meaning? Are some writing cosmic jokes on their readers? I read somewhere if you have to explain your poem, it has failed.

I have been attempting to bring some historical context to WHY contemporary poetry might seem "obscure" at times. The progression of poetry since its break from romanticism in the late 1900s has opened poetic expression beyond the lyrical and beyond emphasis on meaning. We are in a very different place today than the tight, lyrical forms of romanticism.

VonBradstein
November 4th, 2017, 08:46 AM
Midnight, you owe it to youself to study a little about the various movements of poetry (and art, because these movements coincide and overlap). There is historical progression and enormous changes that have happeneded, most of them in the last hundred years that lead to what poetry is today. Ezra Pound, T.S Elliot, William Carlos Williams, Marian Moore, ee cummings, Charles Olsen, the Beats, the Sound Poets, The 50s - through the 70s saw incredible changes and in the world of poetry. These poets and movements made profound innovations in the way we look at poetry. Most of the serious poetry written today is in one way or another a response to one or more of these poets and how they turned the world of literature on its ear.

One also must be careful when talking about “Modern” poetry. Because Modernism is a specific movement in literature and “Modernist Poetry” refers specifically to poetry written roughly between 1890 and 1950 and largely ended in the aftermath of the Second World War, to be replaced by post modernism, which is a very different expression. Modernist Poetry includes other movements like the post Romantics (Yeats and Rilke), the Imagists (Pound), the Minimalists, (Williams). Modernism largely rose in reaction to the Romantic period and emphasized objectivity and impersonalizastion as opposed to lyrical expression of the Romantics. For modernists it was important to move away from the mere personal to the objective and intellectual. This meant breaking from traditional poetic schemes and freeing the poet of restrictions of previous forms.

Post Modern Literature grew in the late 20th Century in reaction to Modernist Literature and is largely marked by elements of complexity, contradiction, ambiguity and diversity. It overlaps with the, Deconstruction Movemenism which emphasizes discourse and the power of language in structuring thought and experience, ultimately arriving at the notion that “truth” is “culturally specific”. Sound poetry developed with the intellectual expansion of post modern literature and broke away from the expectation of “meaning” in poetry.

So, be careful, Midnight when you start throwing around accusations about “modern poetry”. Do some historical research.

I won't speak for Midnight, but I am personally allergic to being told 'study this because you'll learn...'

And, just for the record, a blank page is not a poem, regardless of context.

Bloggsworth
November 4th, 2017, 11:59 AM
Poetry, like all art, is in the mind of the creator and the perception of the viewer - They may not coincide...

ThatGuy
November 4th, 2017, 04:26 PM
I won't speak for Midnight, but I am personally allergic to being told 'study this because you'll learn...'

And, just for the record, a blank page is not a poem, regardless of context.

I think this is the problem with the whole post modern movement, when put poetically...

TL Murphy
November 4th, 2017, 04:35 PM
VonBradstein, I agree with you that a blank page alone cannot be a poem. In fact, that is the first thing I said when I entered this discussion (see #6) and I think Clark did me a slight disservice in his opening statement by misquoting me my original intent from another thread - which was to show that context, not meaning or technique is what makes art, which also applies to poetry. What I have tried to show through this entire discussion (and obviously, not very well) is that context makes the poem. The blank page is not the poem. It’s part of the poem. The poem is comprised of the context, the title and the empty space that follows the title. The empty space could be seen as a kind of punctuation or as a kind of stanza break without a stanza to follow. The empty space is also a statement of sorts, which contributes to the poem. But there is a slight-of-hand going on which requires the reader to step outside the box in order to understand what the poem really is.

VonBradstein
November 4th, 2017, 06:23 PM
VonBradstein, I agree with you that a blank page alone cannot be a poem. In fact, that is the first thing I said when I entered this discussion (see #6) and I think Clark did me a slight disservice in his opening statement by misquoting me my original intent from another thread - which was to show that context, not meaning or technique is what makes art, which also applies to poetry. What I have tried to show through this entire discussion (and obviously, not very well) is that context makes the poem. The blank page is not the poem. It’s part of the poem. The poem is comprised of the context, the title and the empty space that follows the title. The empty space could be seen as a kind of punctuation or as a kind of stanza break without a stanza to follow. The empty space is also a statement of sorts, which contributes to the poem. But there is a slight-of-hand going on which requires the reader to step outside the box in order to understand what the poem really is.



I think you’re right that context does indeed make the bulk of art what it is - however I would still demur as to whether a title of “Worlds Shortest Poem” with a sheet of paper and a title, with no content beyond, is poetry. I don’t think it is.

I simply don’t agree with the school of thought that says anything goes as long as it has some sort of meaning and effect on the reader. I think there is a missing piece in that thinking. That missing piece is enjoyment.

I know gauging enjoyment is tricky and some pieces of conventional poetry are not enjoyable in the sense of being easy to read, etc. That’s not what I mean by enjoyment. A poem can make you queasy, uncomfortable, etc. What I am saying is there has to be some kind of substantive content that moves the reader. I don’t think it is possible for a blank space (or mostly blank space) to do that. A blank can provoke some sort of thought - obviously - but thought alone is not enough. I feel mostly the same way about urinals on walls.

The issue for me is that thought is built on what is not there, not by what is. I don’t believe in art built on absence. I believe in art built on presence. Nor do I believe in the presence of absence being presence of presence. Sometimes an omission of detail can be effective no doubt - I am thinking of the shower scene in Psycho when you don’t actually see the knife going in - but the key difference is that in the cases where it is effective it is because enough has been given that the reader simply fills in the gaps. It does not mean they are called upon to create the entire meaning themselves. Creating the meaning should be the role of the artist.

The “world shortest poem” being a field of blank space with a title is not even that stimulating or revolutionary, in my view. If one wishes to show the “poetry of absence” why bother with paper at all? A title? Why not just dispense entirely with the notion that such things are needed? That anything is needed? Why does there need to be a venue? Where the heck did that Luddite notion come from! Why don’t we all just sit alone in dark rooms and believe that we have climbed the worlds highest mountains and created the finest paintings? Why don’t we just imagine everything we create and see?if somebody is going to tell me there are no rules and then turn and tell me I have to appeal to some nondescript “reader”, I have a problem with understanding why I even need a reader or audience for validation. Is the artist who pisses on a gallery wall a better or more valid artist than one who paints ten thousand Mona Lisas but then throws them over the side of a ship without anybody ever seeing them? You tell me. I would say both are invalid.

It just makes no sense to me to believe that lack of substance is substantive.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Olly Buckle
November 4th, 2017, 06:35 PM
But there is a slight-of-hand going on which requires the reader to step outside the box in order to understand what the poem really is.

That strikes me as unremarkable in one sense, a poem has to have something going on outside the normal prose box, it is practically defining a poem.

Olly Buckle
November 4th, 2017, 06:45 PM
It just makes no sense to me to believe that lack of substance is substantive.

It is strange semantically, but that does not rule it out practically. In hard, physical, terms substance is purely an illusion of our particular size and perceptual limits, ask a sub-atomic physicist, he will tell you that neutinos pass straight through you, the earth, and out the other side, not enough substance to catch more than the occasional one.
Okay that is a bit far off, but think of the 'pregnant pause' of the orator, or the effect a silence can have in a piece of music and I reckon a blank space probably has it place in the written piece, over and above normal punctuation and paragraphs.

VonBradstein
November 4th, 2017, 06:48 PM
It is strange semantically, but that does not rule it out practically. In hard, physical, terms substance is purely an illusion of our particular size and perceptual limits, ask a sub-atomic physicist, he will tell you that neutinos pass straight through you, the earth, and out the other side, not enough substance to catch more than the occasional one.
Okay that is a bit far off, but think of the 'pregnant pause' of the orator, or the effect a silence can have in a piece of music and I reckon a blank space probably has it place in the written piece, over and above normal punctuation and paragraphs.

I addressed the issue of obscured or omitted detail in my post in relation to the shower scene in Psycho and absolutely agree it has substantial dramatic power. However there seems to be an obvious (though perhaps not) distinction between the values of temporary or partial omissions of specific detail for dramatic effect and an absence of core substance.

ThatGuy
November 4th, 2017, 06:49 PM
i'm just gonna paste this...

poem[poh-uh m]
noun
1.a composition in verse, especially one that is characterized by a highly developed artistic form and by the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an intensely imaginative interpretation of the subject.

VonBradstein
November 4th, 2017, 06:50 PM
i'm just gonna paste this...

poem[poh-uh m]
noun
1.a composition in verse, especially one that is characterized by a highly developed artistic form and by the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an intensely imaginative interpretation of the subject.




Oh but you’re overlooking the composition of non composition, the language of silence, the imagination of indifference and the rhythm of deadbeats. *eyeroll*

ThatGuy
November 4th, 2017, 07:04 PM
Oh but you’re overlooking the composition of non composition, the language of silence, the imagination of indifference and the rhythm of deadbeats. *eyeroll*

Yeah, I know... I'm so old fashioned in my way of wanting to use the language we've all already agreed upon.

Olly Buckle
November 4th, 2017, 07:10 PM
distinction between the values of temporary or partial omissions of specific detail for dramatic effect and an absence of core substance.

Certainly; the partial ommissions for dramatic effect are somewhat trivial; however, when the substance of a piece dramatises the total absence of core substance one is left contemplating the void, one might contemplate forever without exploring all the posibilities of absence and getting to the bottom of it.

On the other hand it just might be the Emperor's new clothes :)

VonBradstein
November 4th, 2017, 07:16 PM
Certainly; the partial ommissions for dramatic effect are somewhat trivial; however, when the substance of a piece dramatises the total absence of core substance one is left contemplating the void, one might contemplate forever without exploring all the posibilities of absence and getting to the bottom of it.

On the other hand it just might be the Emperor's new clothes :)

Maybe some people contemplate the void. Me, I tend contemplate the wasted opportunity, the lack of imagination, the disregard for hard work and the general cynicism. Each to their own.

I have nothing against modern art but I think to totally or almost totally disregard the aesthetic qualities and what it means to toil over real words is vapid for a writer.

I guess I would have been the one pointing at the naked emperor and chortling.

TL Murphy
November 4th, 2017, 08:12 PM
It's not the first time this issue has been compared to the Emporer without clothes. I suppose it comes down to ones worldview but I do not believe a void is without substance or that emptiness is nothing. I believe that anything that exists can only do so because its opposite also exists, that absence and substance are two aspects of the same thing. This is not a new idea. It's a very old idea, in fact. One may disagree with it. One may dissmiss it as a nieve notion. It may be paradoxical. That's fine, but it doesn't reduce the concept at all. From where I stand, the universe looks pretty paradoxical. That's why I'm a poet and not a mathematician. As far as: whether such a notion can produce a work of art with substance or a meaningful poem, I suggest that this endless discussion is evidence that it does. As far as: what luddite said that art required a venue, that was Duchamp, a hundred years ago. We are still talking about it. I happen to agree with him. And now I'm repeating myself so it's time to bow out of the disussion.

VonBradstein
November 4th, 2017, 08:29 PM
It's not the first time this issue has been compared to the Emporer without clothes. I suppose it comes down to ones worldview but I do not believe a void is without substance or that emptiness is nothing. I believe that anything that exists can only do so because its opposite also exists, that absence and substance are 2 aspects of the same thing. This is not a new idea. It's a very old, in fact. One may disagree with it. One may dissmiss it as a nieve notion. That's fine, but it doesn't reduce the concept at all. As far as whether such a notion can produce a work of art with substance or a meaningful poem, I suggest that this endless discussion is evidence that it does. As far as what luddite said that art required a venue, that was Duchamp, a hundred years ago. We are still talking about it. I happen to agree with him. And now I'm repeating myself so it's time to bow out of the disussion.

I want you to know I respect the manner in which you explain your view regardless of how passionately I disagree with it. To me it’s just counter intuitive to say “I do not believe a void is without substance or that emptiness is nothing” as to entertain such an obvious (to me) paradox seems to run against every truth that has been born out by millennia of scientific and artistic labor. I cannot in good conscience support what I deem to be a slap in the face (however inadvertent) to the legacy of writers who have written. I am aware that in terms of physics the nature of nothingness is still disputed and being explored, and do understand the philosophical aspects, however I draw the line. And thus for now shall also bow out [emoji846]

ThatGuy
November 4th, 2017, 09:41 PM
It seems to me that if you intentionally inserted a blank page in, say, a novel, it does have a kind of break in the page turning, and might illicit a desirable effect.

It also seems to me that it still has to be inside a, you know, actual novel. It's a new little thing inside something that actually is a piece of art/literature/whatever.

A blank page all by itself is about as worthy of attention as taking a little figure of jesus on the cross and putting it in a jar of urine. it doesn't make much of a statement, certainly not eloquently, it requires zero skill, it is not profound or insightful or ANYTHING valuable... and therefor only post-modernists can pretend it's valuable because, oxymoronically, they have rejected all value structures as arbitrary power games. Which they are not.