“the elder art,” now often stands for art in general: “art supreme,” “summity of language — itself the summity of mind.” Poetry used to be “music of words” where now, music is commonly poetry of sound; the old definition of “seeking new meanings by breaking the old” easily universalizes — not just to other art forms: e.g. “math poetry,” rather than poems inspired by mathematics, is a math-native culture of sieving, connecting, rethinging mathematical concepts in search of beautiful new constructions (or simply a term of praise for good math).  ■    Poetry as live art very nearly disappeared towards the end of modernity: the widening intellectual perspectives didnt offset the pragmatically blurry memory (“with so many facts, why retain expressions”) and high attention thresholds (“a life of tireless pecking only to be noticed”). Worst of all were the “haste and noise”: a poetic utterance is as an ignorable or slightly annoying absurdity unless you give it a moment of silence, slowness, blanked concentration; a streak of poetry, amplified by repetition and rhythm, survived in symbiosis with music (which — outnoising the noise — contrastingly boomed) but only “when the turmoil abated” (sparsening, Change) a slow poetic revival started to replenish the joy of complexity diluted almost homeopathically by the explosive pragmatic overuse of language.  ■    “Inflation of intelligence”: in the raving post-sparsening world — feelery spam, unstoppable arfgrass — the biggest challenge was “too much love”: the pervasive feeling that high-value speech has gotten too easy, too cheap to bother, that in pushing “the rest of language” to new heights poetry overstrained itself — is now backsliding, terminally dissolving; that the work to extract and purify languages precious sediment is no longer meaningful — that language itself has maxed out, is dying of overcreativity, has no newness left other than random combinatorics. (“Calculated poetry” was an idea the age took seriously: if you define a word as a complete corpus of its in-context uses, real or potential, in all languages, then a deterministic algorithm must exist to reduce that large but finite corpus to a set of combinatoric probabilities — enabling limitless automated composition.) In the end, however — far from drowning in the babble — poetry emerged as the most feelery-prone art, one you can trust your life to in the intelligence flood; just weed out anything imitable (“plastic flowers”) and the remainder is not simply lifeworthy — it may be our best bet for telling a living mind from a chatterbox.  ■    Poetrys near-death experience coincided with the rise and fall of international vers libre: like analytism in languages, this loose, flaccid, unusually translatable form throve in the melting pot of globalization but lost much of its appeal when “new diversity” bloomed. To satisfy the returned thirst for sophisticated sonority, poetry grew “newly synthetic,” revived surface-scale regularities (phonetic rhyme, accentual or syllabic meters) as well as deeper struts and beams (clausal rhyme, strophic structures); the epic/lyric bifurcation deepened, poetry “gained at both ends” (and “sagged in the middle”?): for all diversity, a poems measurables still mostly correlate with its line count.  ■    Lyric forms are an escape from the narrative musts — the boring “advance, develop, collide, resolve” that have the marks of human social evolution all over them; beyond B is the only rule applicable in poetry: “only the exit matters.” The quest for “the smallest atom of poetry” legitimized verses (oneliners, each a single rhythmic bar), syntagmae (an even shorter form of two to five roots), poemic quasia — originally “poetry for poets,” poetic ore; when not pure nature art (“found poetry”), the best ones seep through alternating layers of evolving and nature-art selection. (“Take it in, immerse yourself in the words, let them brew for a day or a year: the verse is any good if it stays on, takes root, tints your inner speech — often, re-snaps into a better one.”) Atomization rethinged past poetries too, helped erode monumental cults by showing how “talent achieves quality by quantity” — how “everyone scribbles an immortal line once in a lifetime”; composing longer texts out of verse atoms, with or without original connective tissue, is as staple as reusing chords in music: in a sense, atomic poetry is written to be reused — “in a poem or in life.”  ■    At the opposite pole, narrative epic poetry — maintainer of cohesion, continuity in pre-writing cultures — thrives on modern lores, nurtures the art of long-breath reading, listening, reciting: it takes schooling to discern, enjoy the broadwave structures — sustain a sagas poemic locomotion. As with math, composition is often assisted: rich writing pads — lifetime-trained, as personal as handwriting — enable “higher-level writing” (esnes input, on-the-fly movable type); predicting and evolving feeleries — distant descendants of the thesauri of old — flash deep perspectives on a slightest change (“hall of mirrors”).  ■    The first motivation of art is to see the world, real or imagined, as new: a poem is a noweme. A budding mind grows through the ages of discovery of major arts: usually drawing comes first, then acting, dance, music (much of contemporary music is composed by, and for, this passing age); poetry blooms last — in late adolescence, “at the dawn of the Road” — coalescing on waking, childhood, leaving and returning, chasing, love. ■    Youd more often overhear someone murmuring a verse than humming a tune: poetry is said to be advancing at the expense of music — which is losing its grip; “the best part [of the recording] is the authentic studio silence between the noises — air of the past captured in a bottle.” A number of theories explain the reversal: Change made the human brain less prone to the hypnosis of rhythm; the combinatoric vocabulary of music is limited and by now nearly exhausted; poetry is inherently coupled to music in a kind of swing relationship, so ones gain is always the others loss; or simply, “we no longer hear the Music of the Spheres: gods sentenced us to deafness.” Like languages, musics dialectize, branch, diverge with time; poetries, elsewise, start off as different as their languages (famously “untranslatable”) but, with or without mutual influences, develop an overarching unity — which paradoxically helps them stay different without dying out. A poetry is core to its language and, in many ways, guides its evolution; every learner of a language adds to it: “why know a language if not for its poetry.” ■    For all differences of taste, quality of a poem still lends itself to a reproducible consensus. Poetry led the realization of art as the third island of verifiability — irreducible to the other two (science and ethics), working (like ethics) because it has long infused human self-selection; its verifiability is what makes poetry even practically utile at times (e.g. spectral analysis in lifemaking where you measure/compare readers' per-line perception spectra of a poem).  ■    Even before the fad of seeing a poetry in every artificia, poetic was shedding the sentimentalist metaphor, evolving from nebulous, florid towards dense & succinct; with the renewed stature of poetry among arts, poemity emerges as a burgeoning value axis — a burly, worldly child of bland “aesthetics” (just like live ethics coalesced from a spaghetti of myopic ethical theories). An even more ambitious — “prescriptive” — notion of poemocracy pledges “a second leg for society to stand on” (live ethics being the first): evoking an old definition of poetry as “words set free,” poemocracy sees a community of minds as a text whose words are liberated — as they are in a poem — from the pragmatics of speech. No simplistic “person equals word” (if anything you are an understanding), but — forget purposiveness, rationality, even basic fairness — in a poemocracy you can be unwelcome, irredeemable in a context, pushy, dictatorial; the only reward is the promise of making a grander sense even if you cant read it from inside the text.

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