July 15, 2010

Euclidian Wordplay

Geometry is one of those fields that seems impossibly relevant, considering its 3rd-century BC foundations, when Euclid standardized the axiomatic form (elemental geometry existed and was utilized long before that), and in comparison with 20th-century theoretical mathematics, which is impossibly complex. But geometry--unlike, say, atomic theory--remains steadfast in its harmonious implications, and today scientists manifest its principles in calculations that range from coordinate algebra to differential geometry to pseudo-Riemannian geometry, which brings us to general relativity, and even string theory. (Remember that Edward Witten's M-theory posits that strings are really one-dimensional slices of a two-dimensional membrane vibrating in 11-dimensional space.) Geometry has proven itself indefatigably accurate, universal, and accessible. And gorgeous: just look at this Julia set fractal.

This month, Ugly Duckling Presse (whose books are always intellectually provocative and beautiful) releases Geometry, a collection of poems by Eugene Guillevic (newly translated by the always astute Richard Sieburth) that pair basic geometric images with delightful verse intending to be the "voice" of the object. For example, 'Hyperbola' concludes: What would it be like / To live as asymptote/ To that which never ends? In another, 'Spiral', an even more implicit relationship with identity emerges:

Paring the space
I enclose in the course
Of my adventure,

Pivoting around
Something I am
And am not

I become the point
To which I tend,
A true self, a center

Which is also not.

Flaubert is quoted as saying "Poetry is as exact a science as geometry." Here, indulge in the artistry of the intersection.

16 comments:

  1. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................................

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  2. 人生有些波折,才能有些成長,所以不論順逆,凡是成長、成功的助緣,都應該心存感激。..................................................

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