In Modus Tollens Yuriy Tarnawsky fully develops the technique of Heuristic Poetry that relies on ambiguity, sketched out in some of his earlier collections, which forces the reader to create the poem for himself as he reads through the text, becoming in the process its co-author. In the end he discovers himself standing alone on the denuded earth beneath an empty sky.
“In Modus Tollens, Yuriy Tarnawsky shows us the world living its passions out in a language which is one of its passions. Contra Wittgenstein, Tarnawsky breaks the silence of that about which we cannot speak. He cannot remain silent, so he finds a language which can, which does speak only in the only language of poetic truth — the broken tongue of hidden elegance where a stream that seems to exist does exist and a god that exists — if at all — obliquely bathes in it.”
— Martin Nakell, poet, Tautological Eye and Settlement