Monday, October 29, 2012

2012.10.29 — Another Brush with Success: Newton's Figs. — The Latest Last Place Poem

A while ago, in one of these blogs, I promised myself I would blog poems that achieved some kind state of publication, near or otherwise. Well, I was pleasantly surprised when out of the blue a 'throw away' poem I posted in Amy King's (Goodreads') Monthly poetry competition was in fact shortlisted. Callooh, callay, oh frabjous day!

Well, it appears that I only farted. Again. My latest shot at reaching the top in final round competitive poetry will have to wait for another day. I am a dead and distant last in the voting. And so as needs be I will take whatever solace I can, and some sense of accomplishment, at being picked from over 250 other entries. So here is:

Newton's Figs.
I know, I know, I've bleated this blah blah before.
Your eyeballs roll backwards yet again.
No more will I pray to reason's god
for a chink in its armour through which
we can squeeze the motes of living unpredictability.
The strength to be still,
the courage to mute unsounded truths
that ache with a heart's loss,
not to the flatulent many,
but to the miasma of a squared world
well rested in Newton's figs.
This was a poem I tossed off as a mild rebuke to a group within which I am a member, and which had become bogged down with trying to 'logically' choose new members. I found the conversation had been enervated by trying to build a 'rational-focused' review best of and voting methodology. I suggested that what might be interesting would be something grounded in the same kind of synchronicity that was very much a part of this group coming together in the first place.

No, my idea was rejected with silence. Twice. Newton's Figs. is my homage to William Blake's Newton's Sleep:
Blake tried to show the blindness of this [Newton’s] orientation to nature; and nowhere did he say it better than in his verse letter to Thomas Butts (1802):
Now I fourfold vision see,
And a fourfold vision is given to me;
‘Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
And threefold in soft Beulah’s night
And twofold always. May God us keep
From single vision & Newton’s sleep!
Berman, Morris. The Re-Enchantment of the World. Toronto: Bantam Books, in conjunction with Cornell University Press, 1984, pp.122-3.

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