Schrödinger's poem

Schrödinger’s poem
by jim benz
A semantic meaning is crafted within a poetic structure,
along with the following device (which must be secured
against direct interference by the meaning): in the final
strophe, there is a self-referential contradiction, so
insignificant that perhaps in the course of a reading, one
of its implications has a subtle impact, but also, with equal
probability, perhaps it does not; if recognition occurs, the
device reverses the previous thrust of the poem, and
through an irreconcilable paradox releases an epiphany
that wavers on the cusp of irrational chaos. If one opens
this poem to the vagaries of a reading public, one would
say that its meaning is still coherent if meanwhile the
contradiction has gone undetected. The poetics of the
entire structure would complicate this, however, by having
within itself both a coherent and an incoherent meaning,
each of which potentially express themselves as entirely
separate manifestations of the poem, while at the same
time, in their juxtaposition, creating a third implication
which is entirely beyond the scope of language or rational

It is typical of these poems that an indeterminancy
originally restricted to the polysemic domain becomes
transformed into literary indeterminacy, which can then be
isolated and reproved via close reading. That invites us to
discursively reject as invalid a “blurred poetics” devoid
of meaningful content. In itself, however, this poem
would not embody anything unclear or meaningless, for
each reading contains within itself a logical structure
geared toward a given end. Hence, there is a difference
between a shaky or out-of-focus poem and a poetic
device which creates an invigorating mind-fuck. The
question remains: is such a practice meaningful, and if
so, what is the meaning of meaning?

0 thoughts on “Schrödinger's poem

  1. Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (German pronunciation: [ˈɛrviːn ˈʃrøːdɪŋɐ]; 12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961) was an Austrian theoretical physicist who achieved fame for his contributions to quantum mechanics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1933. In 1935, after extensive correspondence with personal friend Albert Einstein, he proposed the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment. In 1944, he wrote What is Life?, which contains a discussion of Negentropy and the concept of a complex molecule with the genetic code for living organisms.
    More importantly: Schrödinger stayed in Dublin until retiring in 1955. During this time he remained committed to his particular passion; scandalous involvements with students occurred and he fathered two children by two different Irish women. lol.
    Interesting dude. i didn’t find any references to his involvement with poetry, however, hence the gist of the whole piece…a fictional ‘what if’ scientific slant on poetics. You put a lot of work into this perspective, and it is indeed ‘an invigorating mind-fuck’ (in a good way)! I enjoyed the read and i am still marveling at the talent. thx for sharing!

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