Saturday, February 1, 2014

On the fair use of Huxley's repetition truth effect

I don't love you.
I don't love you.

Since it's important for you
that I believe it and that it is true,
I came up with a plan
while you were out.

I don't love you.
I don't love you.

three nights a week
for four years,
one hundred times,
I don't love you.

I don't love you.
I don't love you.

Sixty-two thousand and
four hundred repetitions
to make one truth:
I don't love you.

I don't love you.
I don't love you.

(But hell,
the true truth is
that it's too early.
Tonight, I still do.)

(posted to dVerse Poetics)

14 comments:

  1. Sometimes it seems we have to keep telling ourselves things even when we don't believe them ourselves!

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  2. Love is what we do of it. So many colors, so many spaces... Sometimes the ideal is not the repetition, but the reconfiguration. What is it for you?

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  3. One is tempted to say--'give it time--' which shows, I think, the effectiveness of this poem! We want things to be different than they may be. Your repetition is very effective here--and your math. k.

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    1. Thanks! Not my math, though. It was Aldous Huxley who came up with the math in his book Brave New World. ;)

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  4. Love is fickle... and sometimes no matter how often you tell yourself something you still can't quite believe it...sometimes! A great use of repetition here.

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  5. Sensuously leading on, not wanting to let go. Emotional stand-offs have a way to easily melt in the face of challenges. Nicely Kenia!

    Hank

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  6. Is a truth repeated less a truth or does a non-truth become a truth if it's repeated? .. intriguing poetry here..

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    1. Good question.

      Brave New World doesn't say if a statement repeated less makes a weaker truth, I would guess it depends on what number exactly you'd stop, I mean, 31,200 repetitions would probably make it a half truth, right? While for the second part of your question, yes, a non-truth repeated 62,400 times will become a truth - that's exactly what the book is about. :)

      I'm a dystopia freak, a science-fiction fan, this book is one of the best I've ever read. I've always thought about this repetition truth effect and found it the perfect moment to use it.

      Thanks for stopping by and thinking this poem with me.

      :)

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    2. I don't recall if it was Eichmann - was he the minister sinister of propaganda? who said something along the lines, repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth. Which, it turns out, was prophetic of all governments, everywhere.

      and of lovers. ~

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  7. Repeating something so much that it becomes truth. I am not sure this would work for me either.

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  8. Oh, this is so interesting ...repeating something until we believe it. It works for some things. Getting over someone is hard though ... it takes time. Loved this poem! :)

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  9. I think there a many examples in our everyday lives show a lie repeated becomes the truth-- the accepted truth, that is. Hello mainstream media news outlets. But I digress-- on the matter of love, I think we cannot fool ourselves so easily. An intriguing piece, thanks for sharing. ~peace, Jason

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  10. Loved this - I have tried this trick as well... with about the same results your poem suggests :)

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