Saturday, April 26, 2014

Math Among The Poets



Math Among The Poets





In nights dark as red wine
bright as vinegar,
your hand was in mine;
it was the integer

found, the X over solved
the Y released,
so division  dissolved
so fools found peace
 
in a piece of eyelash revolved
in solitude ceased.
You swore there was logic involved
as we flew through the dynamic crease

but when the time came we went down
deep as a whale when it sounds.





~April 2014






When all else fails, write a sonnet.






Image: The Lover's Whirlwind, 1827, William Blake



13 comments:

  1. I am wondering which came first here--the picture or the poem in terms of inspiration as this has such a strong Blakean quality in the writing. It is odd how it arises as I don't think he would use words like integer--I think it must be in the kind of convoluted directness! Meaning that each line is so direct but then takes us to a different place than expected in--well, the turn of an eyelash. The naturalistic details as well as the math bring up a certain inevitability--and the short lines--I find these short-lined sonnets very intriguing--I do not think I've ever done one that wasn't in some form of pentameter. (Perhaps as the person behind the commas!) Almost there. I've done a rather silly draft this morning, will see. k.

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    1. It's only a sonnet by virtue of rhyme scheme and number of lines--so I'm sure any purist would disavow it as one, but I am lousy at pentameter, and this just came, which was a blessing at this point. I found the picture afterwards--almost used a Chagall one, but this seemed better. Thanks, k. Good luck on the silly--that's about all I can handle right now. ;_)

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    2. Understood. And commenting is almost beyond me! Even as I enjoy reading people's work. The Blake was a great choice==the red wine and vinegar so clever as vinegar is bright - and kind of a sly joke with the x and y division dissolved I thought--but I tend to think in terms of gametes as a rule! Haha. (Is that even the word?) K.

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  2. The pace of this is SO yum. The ease of Math at it's best. When the beats just tick on automatic. I find it healing, as is my projected hope of a headspace but the sonnet case is a perfect fit for what it means to me: eyelash crease and all. best

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  3. Dunno if you of all poets can make much of a case for failing, but ... Poetry math is like dream math is like drunk math: infernal calculus that doesn't so much add up as sound deep. Those first two lines are absolute killers. That's Virgil in the Circle of Lust, isn't it? The Blakean wind making lust a celestial harmony. Go figure. Everyone needs a black abacus I think.

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  4. "so fools found peace" and "deep as a whale when it sounds" really speak to me. So tired, Joy....loved this.

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  5. I do love your take on the sonnet - with something classic and something ultra-modern all mixed together. Excellent metaphoric conceit!

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  6. Wonderful use of the metaphor all the way through...witty, smart, all the things that make writing stand out boldly. And I love the ending. I'm not a purist (about anything, sad to say) so I'm not sure why anyone would criticize your use of the sonnet form. It works for me. Fine job.
    Steve K.

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  7. When all else fails write an amazing sonnet! I love the math metaphor, and I too think the Blake pic is a great choice.

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  8. Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle, those first two stanzas are so original and so good. I love the way you occasionally merge math with poetry, and then you up the ante with the X and Y, the male and the female. it's all so deft. *yanks hair out*

    I'll be candid...the third stanza seemed off to me at first, until I read it out loud. In my head, it sounded clunky, but out loud it didn't. Finally, the image of the whale sounding is choice and apt.

    Anyway, anyone who can use the word "integer" in a poem, and in such a way that i admire it and read it avidly (rather than my eyes glazing over instantly!) is tops in my poetic book. But then, you already were.

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  9. math is everywhere, or better yet-- we have found patterns everywhere. I found myself trying to find a definition for dynamic crease, as a scientific term. I did not find a definition, but the phrase brings up a sensation of space travel and visceral curiosity (it's what good poetry does, right?) while I wonder, your final couplet comes in to clarify the feeling for me. The whole piece a tight weave, but it is that second paragraph I most enjoy. the algebraic, the sexual, and the metaphysical.

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    1. Thanks jane, so glad you liked this--I made up dynamic crease, or rather, it made itself up for me. You know how it goes.

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  10. yep, it's why I wrote two in succession last week. see, there's some math for you :). on another comment recently I noted that my university offered a 'physics for poets' class to satisfy the science requirement for those not so much inclined towards maths. ~

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg