Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday July 9, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Ah! Bright Wings

A poem by the late Thomas Disch:

Sundays at the Colosseum

I think you always had to be a little juiced
to enjoy the show. Or Jewish!
    I never attended
without a flask of red, and would salute
the dying singers–
    martyrs they called themselves–
when the lions drew first blood.
    The songs
went on until either terror or death
had silenced the last of them. I doubt
we would have gone so religiously
if it weren't for the singing.
Sometimes we'd even sing along.
Circuses aren't the same these days.

From Disch's weblog on Friday,
   May 23, 2008, at 8:26 AM

Related material on a novel by Disch:

"On Wings of Song, published in 1979, tells the story of a repressive Amesville, Iowa, in the 21st century. The main character, Daniel Weinreb, tries to master the art of song and flight, 'driven by the knowledge that some have attained flight, their spirits separated from their physical bodies and propelled on the waves of their own singing voices– literally born on wings of song.'"

— Jocelyn Y. Stewart in a Los Angeles Times obituary of July 8, 2008

See also the Log24 entries for
 the date of Disch's poem–
 St. Sarah's Eve— and for
 the evening of July 8.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday July 8, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:34 PM
to a Higher Plane

New York State Lottery
this evening: 737.

Boeing 737 in flight

"Don't know when 
  I'll be back again."

Peter, Paul, and Mary
the final hit

Tuesday July 8, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:17 PM
And the Templeton Prize
  goes to…

Sir John M. Templeton and Thomas Disch in the New York Times obituaries on Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Click on image for further details.

Tuesday July 8, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:14 PM

New York Lottery mid-day today: 672

'The Middle-English Harrowing of Hell,' by Hulme, 1907, page 64, line 672: 'with this he gaf the gaste'

The Middle-English
    Harrowing of Hell…
    by Hulme, 1907, page 64

Tuesday July 8, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 AM

Yesterday's entry discussed T.E. Hulme— a co-founder, with Ezra Pound, of the Imagist school of poetry. Recent entries on randomness, using the New York Lottery as a source of examples, together with Hulme's approach to poetry discussed yesterday, suggest the following meditation– what Charles Cameron might call a "bead game."

Part I:

Ezra Pound on Imagism (from Gaudier-Brzeska,* 1916):

Three years ago in Paris I got out of a "metro" train at La Concorde, and saw suddenly a beautiful face, and then another and another, and then a beautiful child’s face, and then another beautiful woman, and I tried all that day to find words for what this had meant to me, and I could not find any words that seemed to me worthy, or as lovely as that sudden emotion. [….]

The "one image poem" is a form of super-position, that is to say, it is one idea set on top of another. I found it useful in getting out of the impasse in which I had been left by my metro emotion. I wrote a thirty-line poem, and destroyed it because it was what we call work "of second intensity." Six months later I made a poem half that length; a year later I made the following hokku-like sentence: —

"The apparition of these
    faces in the crowd:
 Petals, on a
    wet, black bough."


I dare say it is meaningless unless one has drifted into a certain vein of thought. In a poem of this sort one is trying to record the precise instant when a thing outward and objective transforms itself, or darts into a thing inward and subjective.

Part II:

Eleanor Goodman on translation (in a July 7, 2008, weblog entry, "Pound and Process: An Introduction"):

"… all translations exist on an axis. Indeed, they exist in a manifold of many axes intersecting. One axis is that of foreignness and familiarity. One axis is that of structural mimicry, another of melodic mimicry. And one axis is that of semantic fidelity."

Goodman's use of the word "manifold" here is of course poetic, not mathematical.

Part III:

New York Lottery, mid-day on July 7, 2008: 771.

Part IV:

A Google search on manifold 771 reveals that 771 is, according to Google's scanners, an alternate form (a "translation," via structural mimicry) of a script version of the letter M. (See Part V below.)

Part V:

Long version of a 
one-image poem —

"Random apparition:
  manifold translated."

This poem summarizes the
relationship (See Part IV above) of
the (apparently) random number 771
to the rather non-random concept of
a linear manifold:

Paul R. Halmos, Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces, Princeton, 1948-- Definition of linear manifold (denoted by script M)

[Such lines and planes have not
been, in mathematical language,

— Paul R. Halmos,
Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces,
Princeton University Press, 1948

Short version of the   
above one-image poem

Script M

* Gaudier-Brzeska created the artifact shown on the cover of Solid Objects, a work of literary theory by Douglas Mao. For more on that artifact and on the New York Lottery, see Sermon for St. Peter's Day. "It is not in the premise that reality/ Is a solid…." –Wallace Stevens

"I was like, Oh My God." —Poet Billy Collins at Chautauqua Institution, morning of July 7, 2008

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