For Charles Bernstein, poetry is basically political. He sees that through language a (capitalist) society controls the individual’s experience. Its standardized language use translates our experiences into generalized contents and distributes them like commodities; thereby they lose their concreteness and particularity, only to be incorporated into a preconditioned world(view). In this light, he notes, the political value of poems lies in the concreteness of the experiences they make available.
Poems release concrete experiences when their content is their form itself, hence when they are nonrepresentational and self-sufficient. This does not mean that such poems are meaningless. On the contrary, the value of self-sufficient poems resides in the meaningfulness of language itself because language as medium or ‘wordness’ allows them to have iconic meanings. However, those meanings need to be foregrounded, and it is by means of ‘construction’ that they are foreground through its dynamic and generative mechanism.
We experience the world through language, and we are absorbed into concrete experiences through a mode of form, neither natural nor personal, as an antiabsorbtive use of language. It is a ‘construction’ as an active process that generates new meanings rather than reproduces meanings, a process by meas of which we experience an actual world made strange and palpable instead of a world in the realm of general and abstract meanings.