The Poetics of Science Fiction


The Poetics of Science Fiction

I recall in my graduate career taking a course with this portentous title from one of the most brilliant professors I ever had the pleasure to know. Ultimately the resolution of the course was that science fiction had and could have no poetics due to its foundational structure. I don't know that today I would agree, although I must say that I find little in that world that suggests the possibility of a great poetics. Much of the work seems to have no real love for language, but lavishes its love on ideas. Mind you, I like a great deal of science fiction, but I find that I weary of the "new" for the sake of the new, and I long for the occasional Ursula K. Leguin, or other exquisitely attuned writer to help me regain my childhood love of Science Fiction.

In the meantime, a piece that might fall in that mode, although I think of it more along the lines of Paul Klee's "Mechanical Bird," there is no question of its ultimate influences (viz. "positronic converters:).

Metallic Contours Steven Riddle

How long have you dreamed
in your paper-steel body?
Your glass eyes REM
in a bath of glycerin
and protective salts.
Bellows rising and falling,
diodes, capacitors, transistors, positronic converters,
warming your sensitive flesh.
Dreaming what dreams have you waited?
What dreams behind your
fine eyelids?
I wonder this when my hand traces your perfect metal contours
when I grasp your breast or pull you to me,
I wonder if I should love a machine
turned flesh.
I wonder what new things will
be born of such unions as ours,
half-metal monster
or strange dream of Man.

©2002 Steven Riddle

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 3, 2002 8:23 AM.

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