The problem with discussions of poetics today is that no one is willing to accept any linguistic boundaries.  In other words, poetry must be allowed to be anything anyone chooses to call poetry, and for some, anything that exists regardless of whether anyone has yet chosen to call it poetry.  This makes the word poetry meaningless for distinguishing an entity, and as such makes discussions of poetics pretty damn meaningless too.  It is fairly clear that the definitions of the OED (of poetry) are no longer acceptable to the emerging establishment, but I doubt that a definition could be worded that would satisfy even a basic majority of interested and academic parties and yet still hold some linguistic value.


This rant brought on by the question and discussion at As/Is2


UPDATE:  I should have said that it makes arguments about poetics pretty damn meaningless, rather than discussions about poetics which can, in fact, still be civil and enjoyable (though probably not useful in any meaningful sense) as the case in point shows.

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