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Showing posts from November 5, 2006

First Things

[[[work in progress...Copyright 2006, Doug Tarnopol]]]

I. Preliminaries

Have you ever noticed?—
Those who privilege the Word
Drive language to conclusions
That are patently absurd?

Heirs of Petrarch
Have made stony rule
Of language’s domain
Thus rebuilding the School.

Jealous, no doubt—
And who can blame them?—
Of the sciences’ attainment
Of the disciplines’ diadem.

In a coup de force
By vanity spurred
They declare to the Thingers:
“First comes the Word!”

The flanking maneuver
Takes many a form:
“Episteme,” “paradigm,” “frame”—
Some referenceless norm.

The object dethroned
(Excepting grammatical)
The subject now grants
Things endless sabbatical.

Word and Thing now divorced
And custody granted
Solely to Word over
A World reenchanted.

No correspondence allowed
From Word’s sealed prison,
Thing languishes apart
Deemed unreal in Word’s vision

All this has occurred
In dreams discontented
While in reality, Things remain
Their realness undented.

But the arrogance of the Thingers!
It is all-too-well-known
How little they heed
How the…