The Poem

"The Poem" is the poem, "Forgetfiction," that inspired this project. Just as I was about to give up hope on finding something worthwhile to do, my brilliant poet/philosopher/mathematician friend Chris sent me a poem he'd written, composed solely of bits of my e-mails that he'd cut and pasted. This is one of the main characteristics of Hypertext, that intelligent linking is just as viable a source of creation and creativity as actually writing something "original." It reminds me of Mary Shelley's words from her introduction to Frankenstein. Writing is more of a synthesis than a creation.

"Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give form to dark, shapeless substances, but cannot bring into being the substance itself."
The poem reinforces this idea. The only difference between this and a "real" poem is that its source material is more readily documented.

It also demonstrates something about context. Derrida says that context alters the meaning of words. This is true. I've tried to provide "context" by including the e-mails I'd sent to Chris. This was not wholely successful, because some lines came from e-mails I no longer have record of. Compare the meanings of the lines of the poem as they appear in the poem and as they appear in the actual e-mails from whence they first sprang. If you like, before you follow the link out to see the "real" context of the line, try to imagine a context for it.

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