The thing is, [asking an LLM something] is just a radicalization of something that has been known about since the development of poetry as a method of language use. This is maybe a bit of an idiosyncratic view, but i’ve always understood the “point” of poetry to be in the demonstration that the image-arrangements or “argument” of the poem are already laying “in the language as such” in ways that are evidenced by their expressibility in rhyme and meter.
This is basically the old Emersonian point at the top of the page: a “poem” is when an argument is so much itself that it can simply appear, and take a metrical form as an indication of its always-already having been present in the language, but just not organized into a poem yet. What the poet does is notice the concatenation of the geometric “fact” of the poem’s possibility within a particular rhyme-and-meter space, and point that out. This is why I have always considered poetry to be a version of nonfiction: the poem is the words that are there where there is a pointer labeled “poem”.
That’s from A Short Note On Large Language Models. And:
“What’s funny about this way of looking at it is that it correctly moves all anxieties about these models and their use into anxieties about the political construction of societies and the intentional construction of audiences. The answer isn’t really to restrict them per se, but to respond with a combination of Nelson Goodman-inflected Audience Development and Deweyan Democracy. But then, that’s my answer to every problem. I think it is good for political things to be openly political, and for the political uses of less-than-political things to be identified as such.“
“For it is not metres, but a metre-making argument, that makes a poem, – a thought so passionate and alive, that, like the spirit of a plant or an animal, it has an architecture of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing.”- Emerson, “The Poet”