A Defense of the Lamppost Poem

by PNR

Meaning is not a Modern or Post-Modern sentiment.  The idea that everything will make sense if you think about it long enough did not feature in these recent eras of poetry.  One reading of the Wasteland, or the Cantos of Ezra Pound, we are given promises of overarching or underlying meaning, that ultimately dissolve under scrutiny.  This is all in line with the rest of Modern and Post-Modern literature: alienation, inhumanity, crisis, etc.
However, if one believes Lennard Davis, that we have moved past Post-Modernism– and I have argued the name for this new artistic era needs keep the Post and ditch the Modern, Post-Humanism? really not as depressing as first glance at the theoretical stuff may suggest– this era need develop some new aesthetic values.  Brand new, not reactionary; not the flip-side of Post-Modernism; not a reversion to pre-Enlightenment moralities.
Since the nineteen-nineties, applied mathematics has suggest that there is some degree of knowability to the universe.  I happen to believe we will grow asymptotically closer to a unified theory of everything– hey, I’m an optimist.  But whether or not we ever come any closer to an understanding of the universe, at this moment in history, we believe it may be possible.  What a break with the traditions of Modernism and Post-Modernism!  Hence the Lamppost poem.
I view the Lamppost poem as a sine curve.  I have filled the second part II. with as many meanings as possible, from numbers that reference, to importance in who speaks what, to escaping death.  The significance of the window, well it always stands for something more and different, but at this historical moment, the window is Post-Post-Modernism and the new century.

 

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