[Editor’s note: Serkan Engin is a socialist Laz poet-author from Turkey. He aims to launch a new movement in Turkish poetry and to that end has published numerous articles about literary theory, beginning with his 2004 manifesto, “Imagist Socialist Poetry.”]
Poetry is the organization of the poetic images around one one more themes, forming completeness, according to imagist socialist poetry. As it can be understood from this description, the main unit of the poetry is the poetic image, because poetry is an autonomous metalanguage developing in natural language. That occurs by consciously deforming the syntax, and reforming it with an autonomous system of poetic images. Poetic images convert natural language, enlarge its borders and provide new possibilities of expression.
A single word of the natural language has a fixed, stereotyped reflection by every person who perceives it. So, a single word of the natural language does not have the striking associative property that a poetic image has.
Poetic images are established by making an analogy between two or more words having semantic distance; the main mission of the poetic images is to provide a striking expression for transmission of the meaning by association.
Poetry is written with poetic images, not with individual words; the poetic image forms the units which comprise the poem. The words are like protons, neutrons and electrons, if we suppose that the poetic image is an atom. The components of the atom can not be found individually in the nature; so it is with words in a poem, as they can only have functional existence by combining to establish the poetic image.
A poetic image is the subjective reflection of the objective reality, an aesthetic expression of the poet’s conscience.y. This artistic reflection is not a one-to-one reflection as a mirror reflection, but it is the externalization of the objective reality. It is perceived and transformed to a new reality by the conscience of the poet.
As the poetic image is externalized by the poet, it is added to the objective reality. So, poems – and all other art works – are aesthetic interventions to the objective reality, each resulting in a new, artistic reality.
The externalized poetic image reaches the conscience of the reader as a part of the objective reality; it is absorbed by the reader according to his/her conscience and level of aesthetic perception..
Each reader absorbs and reaches awareness of the poem’s theme differently. Then, the poem makes a contribution to the personal transformation of each reader. In this way, the poem makes a contribution to the social transformation and has power.
Poetry is an artistic way to change the world step by step as making contribution to the objective reality with artistic reality.