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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Semantics, in parentheses

In which the morning greets us with the memory of a dream and we attempt to unburden ourselves from literary constraints. And fail.


I awoke quite early to a dream of writing a poem that ended with the word 'semantics' in parentheses. In the dream the poem was quite good and I wanted to continue to work on it, but the light and return to full consciousness revealed the foolishness of that somnolent idea. Indeed, our awake selves found the humor and the horror of a poem that ended with the word 'semantics' in parenthesis.  We might have fallen back asleep and dreamed again of the poem that ended with semantics in parentheses, now with nightmare comments from literary critics.  'The bed represents the disarray of the modern world; the poet attempts to impose organization using lexical semantics; the word "semantics," in parentheses, a metaphor for the ineffective geopolitics of the 21st century.' 'Semantics, representing formal meaning and order, is contained and restrained, shown typographically by the use of the parentheses; the wanton state of the bed illustrates the creative embrace of a poet's life.' 'The bed, empty, messy, unmade, becomes the foundation of a contemporary, amorphous morality; the rigid moralities of the past have been cast out and 'jailed,' leaving the occupants of the 'bed,' (a marriage bed, by implication), who are absent, to create a new canon for behavior.' We were visited so long by literary critics -- indeed, we might as well have been sleeping with Scrooge! -- that we overslept and rued the loss of the morning hours. But not the line with the word 'semantics' in parentheses.

On second thought perhaps we should have invited Lenny Kravitz to analyze ... something.


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