Thursday, July 29, 2010

A wedding song -- shaped by mathematics

This posting includes a stanza from of "A Wedding on Earth" by Annie Finch.  In the poet's words: the poem has 11 stanzas with 11 lines for a total of 121 lines, this number symbolizing the two single members of a pair joining into a 2, which is the prevailing theme of the poem; and each stanza combining [averaging] the stanza of Spenser's epithalamion (18 lines)  with Sappho's stanza (4 lines).

      from A Wedding on Earth (stanza 9):

     And you’ll reach, with the meanings that humans bid
     Two more minds to touch from balanced pairs—
     Intersection of line to pyramid,
     Uncornered circling, edging angles, squares—
     Long paradoxes, shaped by geometry’s
     Aisled community.
     Goddess and god of weddings, bend your strengths
     Over your weaving promises and go
     Past the edges of partnership, through the lengths
     Of the days that are moving us, fast or slow,
     From everything we know.

An early seven-stanza version of "A Wedding on Earth" is available here and  the entire poem is found in Finch's collection, Calendars (Tupelo Press, 2003).   Annie Finch is the founder (in 1997) of WOMPO, an international listserv devoted to the discussion of Women's Poetry and open to all interested individuals. 

1 comment:

  1. Form as content! That's one thing that poetry and math have in common: the structure doesn't just contain the meaning, it is part of the meaning.