Transfigured , transmogrified, transliterated.
The Word —
As “Self-Reference” …
As referent for Self…
Disguised as I/Me
Masking its hidden Self …
Here — yet somewhere else.
Bespeaks of heavy consciences.
Of timeless time …
Here now, yet somewhere else.
A self within Self.
That settles restlessly …
On the human psyche.
Like a thought
Provoked, encouraged
By ancient archetypal myths.
That give it birth — and Mind.
An inquisitive mind …
A mind of inquisition
To seek its Self within its self.
“Cogito ergo sum!”
To glance upon its image
Imaging its Self …
Subject and Object
Transfigured, transmogrified, transliterated.
Their genesis, and their exodus …
Transcribed indelibly…
On the human psyche.

About this poem

This poem, “Self-Reference,” playfully examines semiotician Charles Sanders Pierce’s philosophical rumination on the Self, regarding the Self as both the object and the subject of semiotic investigation. This poem makes the observation that the Self either as subject (Signfier), or as object (Signified), upon examination or scrutiny, behaves very much like physicist Werner Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle relating to position and momentum of an atom noting, with regard to Self, that upon examination or scrutiny, it is difficult to pin down, evading permanence of placement, finding its locus in the movement of a cornucopia of ambiguous words on a page, in such a manner that one can never simultaneously know with certainty both variables of Self as subject or as object. In short, as the opening lines of the poem suggests, the Self is ever being transfigured, transmogrified, transliterated. 

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Written on February 05, 1986

Submitted by karlcfolkes on March 04, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

38 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme aabcdcefgecdDaahaaicjkcaaldD
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 751
Words 128
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 28

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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    "Self-Reference" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jun 2024. <>.

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