Comparing Truth with Language - Which do Poems Express?

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Science provides accurate statements about the world; poems supply only 'pseudo-statements'" (Keesey 131).

I found the phrase "pseudo-statements" to be very mind-boggling.

Based on the help from Answers.com and Keesey, I think I have a grasp on this phrase.

So, if science implies that there are only correct answers, either yes/no/true/false, then poetry is the opposite or pseudo-statements.

This would mean that pseudo-statements are what poems are. They use that intriguing language and layered symbolism that does not provide a definite answer. This is why we are studying literary criticism, right?

Reader-response criticism involves a pseudo-statement that makes the reader take a stand on their meaning of the work and support it with details from text to make a claim that an author either intended to portray or not.

Hopefully, I am making sense about this term, but I think it refers to poetry using "words of emotion" instead of yes or no statements or questions.

Click here for the web page devoted to Hamilton.

1 Comment

I know that pseudo means false. So a pseudo-statement would be a statement that is false. In the context, I took it that poetry provides a reflection of real life. Think of a poem as a mirror. It is constructed (sometimes) to be very life-like but you could never look into a mirror and expect it to tell you what the next move you are going to make is going to be for it is a mere representation. Poems represent life, but you cannot learn from them is what I think is what is being said here. Whether or not I agree with that is another thing. :)

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on February 20, 2009 6:37 PM.

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