This brief essay is the third in a series addressing the emergence of meaning, by James Leonard.
(Please note: the following material is Â© copyright James Leonard 2006 and may not be used in any way without permission from author)
“Poetry is news that remains news; self-updating information.” Tom Sherman, a conceptual artist, theorist, and friend, once said that to me in casual conversation. At the time, he was my undergraduate advisor and mentor. It was about three years before the internet boom and the emergence of overnight dot-com billionaires. We were in his office, both engaged in an enthusiastic dialogue about art in the information age. Most of that conversation has receded into the zeitgeist of pre-boom jargon and hype. But that notion of “self-updating information” remains with me. Though Tom had named poetry in particular, I know from the context of our conversation, he was speaking about poetic meaning in art in general.
About once a year, I find myself pondering that simple sentence: “Poetry is news that remains news; self-updating information.” It never seems to get old.