Friday, August 10, 2012

Summing thin slices

This poem by recent (2008-2010) poet laureate Kay Ryan at first made me think of calculus, of integration, summing all the thin slices to find the area under a curve.  And then the poem moved me on. 

     Train-Track Figure     by Kay Ryan

     Imagine a
     train-track figure
     made of sliver
     over sliver of
     vision, each
     slice too brief
     to add detail;
     or deepen: that
     could be a hat
     if it's a person
     if it's a person
     if it's a person.
     Just the same
     scant information
     timed to supplant
     the same scant

Ryan's poem is found in the March 2007 issue of Poetry.  

On NPR today was a story about the NPR Poetry games, a poetry contest celebrating the 2012 Olympics in London; here is a link to the story and to the winning poem.

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