Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dimensions of Discovery

Along the one-dimensional straight line
there are points and segments
but no curves or squares.
In the flat plane of two dimensions 
there are points and segments 
and circles and squares.
In the vast space of three dimensions 
there are points and segments 
and squares and spheres.
In a space of four dimensions 
there is more than 
we can imagine.

The first draft of the following poem was inspired by an art exhibit in Silver Spring in 2007. A few weeks ago I found that draft and gave it some new twists, considering the possibilities of various spatial dimensions,  (My fascination with the limits and opportunities in spaces of different dimensions began with one of the classics of mathematical literature, Edwin A. Abbott's Flatland (first published in 1884) with its portrait of life in two dimensions.)  An interesting collection of views (essays selected from a Scientific American Competition) of the fourth dimension are found in The Fourth Dimension Simply Explained, edited by Henry P. Manning (Dover, 2005 -- originally published in 1910). 

       Into Time     by JoAnne Growney

       I slip from time 
       and stretch to four
       dimensions all the moments
       last forever side by side 
       line by line.

       From X I brush with
       circle force to X again
       the same place not the same
       ancient orange lichen rocks
       on gallery walls today.

       A wisp of woman sitting 
       silver solo straight-back chair
       down the line new points in time
       slow slow quick quick jitterbug
       sing lullabies pen rhymes.

       Steer deep to four dimensions
       hanging swinging knotted cords
       unwinding crazy quilting finding
       a woman melting into a bowl
       into a woman into a bowl.

The exhibit that offered the seeds for this poem was “Age of Discovery”at Silver Spring’s Heliport Gallery (December 10, 2006 -  January 31, 2007); the exhibit, ‘‘Age of Discovery,”  featured senior artists Patti Iglarsh, Elizabeth Zeisler and Barbara March Smith -- each an artist who began painting at midlife or later -- and that collection of their work focused on growth and discovery.

No comments:

Post a Comment