Log24

Friday, February 21, 2014

Night’s Hymn of the Rock

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

One way of interpreting the symbol  IMAGE- Modal Diamond in a square 
at the end of yesterday's post is via
the phrase "necessary possibility."

See that phrase in (for instance) a post
of July 24, 2013, The Broken Tablet .

The Tablet  post may be viewed in light
of a Tom Wolfe passage quoted here on
the preceding day, July 23, 2013—

IMAGE- Tom Wolfe in 'The Painted Word' on conceptual art

On that  day (July 23) another weblog had
a post titled

Wallace Stevens: Night's Hymn of the Rock.

Some related narrative —

IMAGE- The 2001 film 'The Discovery of Heaven'

I prefer the following narrative —

Part I:  Stevens's verse from "The Rock" (1954) —
"That in which space itself is contained"

Part II:  Mystery Box III: Inside, Outside (2014)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mystery Box III: Inside, Outside

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 2:28 PM

(Continued from Mystery Box, Feb. 4, and Mystery Box II, Feb. 5.)

The Box

Inside the Box

Outside the Box

For the connection of the inside  notation to the outside  geometry,
see Desargues via Galois.

(For a related connection to curves  and surfaces  in the outside
geometry, see Hudson's classic Kummer's Quartic Surface  and
Rosenhain and Göpel Tetrads in PG(3,2).)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Big Rock

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From the LA Times  online obituaries today:

Michael Feran Baigent was born in Nelson, New Zealand,
in 1948. After graduating from New Zealand's University
of Canterbury with a degree in psychology, he worked as a
photographer and magazine editor in Australia, New
Zealand and Spain before taking up research for a
documentary called "The Shadow of the Templars."

From 1998 he lectured on and led tours of the temples and
tombs in Egypt, and from 2001 he was editor of the
magazine "Freemasonry Today."

Elliott Reid

Longtime film, TV actor with a comic touch

Elliott "Ted" Reid, 93, a longtime character actor in films
and on television, stage and radio who played opposite
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in the classic comedy
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," died Friday [June 21, 2013]
in Studio City, said his nephew Roger R. Jackson.

From a post last Saturday, June 22, and the earlier
​post last Friday, June 21, that preceded it:

The Eliade passage was quoted in a 1971 Ph.D. thesis
on Wallace Stevens.

Some context— Stevens's Rock in this journal.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lexicon

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From the final pages of the new novel
Lexicon , by Max Barry: 

"… a fundamental language
of the human mind— 
the tongue in which the human animal 
speaks to itself at the basest level. 
The machine language, in essence…."

"… the questions raised by 
this underlying lexicon
What are its words? 
How many are there? ….
Can we learn to speak them?
What does it sound like 
when who we are is expressed
in its most fundamental form? 
Something to think about."

       R. Lowell

See also, in this journal, Big Rock.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stevens and the Rock

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Passage quoted in A Philosopher's Stone (April 4, 2013)—

This passage from Heidegger suggested the lexicon excerpt on
to hypokeimenon  (the underlying) in yesterday's post Lexicon.

A related passage:

The Eliade passage was quoted in a 1971 Ph.D. thesis
on Wallace Stevens.

Some context— Stevens's Rock in this journal.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Space Itself

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:25 AM

From The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens ,
John N. Serio, ed., "Stevens's Late Poetry," by B.J. Leggett,
pp. 62-75, an excerpt from page 70:

Click the above image for further details.

See also Nothingness and "The Rock" in this journal.

Further readings along these lines:

IMAGE- Parallel book covers- 'The Mystery of the Quantum World' and (adapted) 'The Stars My Destination'

For pure mathematics, rather than theories of the physical world, 
see the properties of the cube illustrated on the second (altered
book cover above.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Poetry and Truth

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 7:59 PM

From today's noon post

"In all his poems with all their enchantments
for the poet himself, there is the final enchantment
that they are true. The significance of the poetic act
then is that it is evidence. It is instance and illustration.
It is an illumination of a surface,
the movement of a self in the rock.
Above all it is a new engagement with life.
It is that miracle to which the true faith of the poet
attaches itself."

— Wallace Stevens at Bard College, March 30, 1951

Stevens also said at Bard that

"When Joan of Arc said: 

Have no fear: what I do, I do by command.
My brothers of Paradise tell me what I have to do.

these words were the words of an hallucination.
No matter what her brothers of Paradise drove her to do,
what she did was never a poetic act of faith in reality
because it could not be."

There are those who would dispute this.

Some related material:

"Ageometretos me eisito."—
"Let no one ignorant of geometry enter."—
Said to be a saying of Plato, part of the
seal of the American Mathematical Society—

A poetic approach to geometry—

"A surface" and "the rock," from All Saints' Day, 2012

Spaces as Hypercubes

— and from 1981—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090217-SolidSymmetry.jpg

Some mathematical background for poets in Purgatory—

"… the Klein correspondence underlies Conwell's discussion 
of eight heptads. These play an important role in another
correspondence, illustrated in the Miracle Octad Generator
of R. T. Curtis, that may be used to picture actions
of the large Mathieu group M24."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Shattered Mind

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:26 AM

For St. Peter's Day

"For Stevens, the poem 'makes meanings of the rock.'
In the mind, 'its barrenness becomes a thousand things/
And so exists no more.' In fact, in a peculiar irony
that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion
of the imagination's function could develop,
the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered
into such diamond-faceted brilliance
that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought…."

—A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954)
    in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes,
    by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120

Related material on transforming shapes:

The Diamond 16 Puzzle  and…

IMAGE- The URL for permutationpuzzles.org, with favicon

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beyond Forgetfulness

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:10 AM

From this journal on July 23, 2007

It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit
,

And if we ate the incipient colorings
Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

– Wallace Stevens, "The Rock"

This quotation from Stevens (Harvard class of 1901) was posted here on when Daniel Radcliffe (i.e., Harry Potter) turned 18 in July 2007.

Other material from that post suggests it is time for a review of magic at Harvard.

On September 9, 2007, President Faust of Harvard

"encouraged the incoming class to explore Harvard’s many opportunities.

'Think of it as a treasure room of hidden objects Harry discovers at Hogwarts,' Faust said."

That class is now about to graduate.

It is not clear what "hidden objects" it will take from four years in the Harvard treasure room.

Perhaps the following from a book published in 1985 will help…

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110505-MetamagicalIntro.gif

The March 8, 2011, Harvard Crimson  illustrates a central topic of Metamagical Themas , the Rubik's Cube—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110427-CrimsonAtlas300w.jpg

Hofstadter in 1985 offered a similar picture—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110505-RubikGlobe.gif

Hofstadter asks in his Metamagical  introduction, "How can both Rubik's Cube and nuclear Armageddon be discussed at equal length in one book by one author?"

For a different approach to such a discussion, see Paradigms Lost, a post made here a few hours before the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110427-ParadigmsLost.jpg

Whether Paradigms Lost is beyond forgetfulness is open to question.

Perhaps a later post, in the lighthearted spirit of Faust, will help. See April 20th's "Ready When You Are, C.B."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Romancing the Metaphor

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:24 PM

Background —

From a 1990 novel —
http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110424-StoneJunction.jpg

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Imago Creationis

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 6:00 PM

Image-- The Four-Diamond Tesseract

In the above view, four of the tesseract's 16
vertices are overlaid by other vertices.
For views that are more complete and
moveable, see Smith's tesseract page.

Four-Part Tesseract Divisions

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100619-TesseractAnd4x4.gif

The above figure shows how four-part partitions
of the 16 vertices  of a tesseract in an infinite
Euclidean  space are related to four-part partitions
of the 16 points  in a finite Galois  space

Euclidean spaces versus Galois spaces
in a larger context—

 

 


Infinite versus Finite

The central aim of Western religion —

"Each of us has something to offer the Creator...
the bridging of
                 masculine and feminine,
                      life and death.
It's redemption.... nothing else matters."
-- Martha Cooley in The Archivist  (1998)

The central aim of Western philosophy —

              Dualities of Pythagoras
              as reconstructed by Aristotle:
                 Limited     Unlimited
                     Odd     Even
                    Male     Female
                   Light      Dark
                Straight    Curved
                  ... and so on ....

"Of these dualities, the first is the most important; all the others may be seen as different aspects of this fundamental dichotomy. To establish a rational and consistent relationship between the limited [man, etc.] and the unlimited [the cosmos, etc.] is… the central aim of all Western philosophy."
— Jamie James in The Music of the Spheres  (1993)

Another picture related to philosophy and religion—

Jung's Four-Diamond Figure from Aion

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100615-JungImago.gif

This figure was devised by Jung
to represent the Self. Compare the
remarks of Paul Valéry on the Self—

Flight from Eden: The Origins of Modern Literary Criticism and Theory, by Steven Cassedy, U. of California Press, 1990, pages 156-157—

 

 

Valéry saw the mind as essentially a relational system whose operation he attempted to describe in the language of group mathematics. "Every act of understanding is based on a group," he says (C, 1:331). "My specialty— reducing everything to the study of a system closed on itself and finite" (C, 19: 645). The transformation model came into play, too. At each moment of mental life the mind is like a group, or relational system, but since mental life is continuous over time, one "group" undergoes a "transformation" and becomes a different group in the next moment. If the mind is constantly being transformed, how do we account for the continuity of the self? Simple; by invoking the notion of the invariant. And so we find passages like this one: "The S[elf] is invariant, origin, locus or field, it's a functional property of consciousness" (C, 15:170 [2:315]). Just as in transformational geometry, something remains fixed in all the projective transformations of the mind's momentary systems, and that something is the Self (le Moi, or just M, as Valéry notates it so that it will look like an algebraic variable). Transformation theory is all over the place. "Mathematical science…  reduced to algebra, that is, to the analysis of the transformations of a purely differential being made up of homogeneous elements, is the most faithful document of the properties of grouping, disjunction, and variation in the mind" (O, 1:36). "Psychology is a theory of transformations, we just need to isolate the invariants and the groups" (C, 1:915). "Man is a system that transforms itself" (C, 2:896).

Notes:

  Paul Valéry, Oeuvres  (Paris: Pléiade, 1957-60)

C   Valéry, Cahiers, 29 vols. (Paris: Centre National de le Recherche Scientifique, 1957-61)

Note also the remarks of George David Birkhoff at Rice University
in 1940 (pdf) on Galois's theory of groups and the related
"theory of ambiguity" in Galois's testamentary letter—

… metaphysical reasoning always relies on the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and… the true meaning of this Principle is to be found in the “Theory of Ambiguity” and in the associated mathematical “Theory of Groups.”

If I were a Leibnizian mystic, believing in his “preestablished harmony,” and the “best possible world” so satirized by Voltaire in “Candide,” I would say that the metaphysical importance of the Principle of Sufficient Reason and the cognate Theory of Groups arises from the fact that God thinks multi-dimensionally* whereas men can only think in linear syllogistic series, and the Theory of Groups is the appropriate instrument of thought to remedy our deficiency in this respect.

* That is, uses multi-dimensional symbols beyond our grasp.

Related material:

Imago Creationis

A medal designed by Leibniz to show how
binary arithmetic mirrors the creation by God
of something (1) from nothing (0).

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100618-LeibnizMedaille.jpg

Another array of 16 strings of 0's and 1's, this time
regarded as coordinates rather than binary numbers—

Frame of Reference

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100619-ReferenceFrame.gif

The Diamond Theorem

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100619-Dtheorem.gif

Some context by a British mathematician —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100619-Cameron.gif

Imago

by Wallace Stevens

Who can pick up the weight of Britain, 
Who can move the German load 
Or say to the French here is France again? 
Imago. Imago. Imago. 

It is nothing, no great thing, nor man 
Of ten brilliancies of battered gold 
And fortunate stone. It moves its parade 
Of motions in the mind and heart, 

A gorgeous fortitude. Medium man 
In February hears the imagination's hymns 
And sees its images, its motions 
And multitudes of motions 

And feels the imagination's mercies, 
In a season more than sun and south wind, 
Something returning from a deeper quarter, 
A glacier running through delirium, 

Making this heavy rock a place, 
Which is not of our lives composed . . . 
Lightly and lightly, O my land, 
Move lightly through the air again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday February 24, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
 
Hollywood Nihilism
Meets
Pantheistic Solipsism

Tina Fey to Steve Martin
at the Oscars:
"Oh, Steve, no one wants
 to hear about our religion
… that we made up."

Tina Fey and Steve Martin at the 2009 Oscars

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 117:

… in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer

 A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination.


Superficially the young men's philosophy seems to resemble what Wikipedia calls "pantheistic solipsism"– noting, however, that "This article has multiple issues."

As, indeed, does pantheistic solipsism– a philosophy (properly called "eschatological pantheistic multiple-ego solipsism") devised, with tongue in cheek, by science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein.

Despite their preoccupation with solipsism, Heinlein and Stevens point, each in his own poetic way, to a highly non-solipsistic topic from pure mathematics that is, unlike the religion of Martin and Fey, not made up– namely, the properties of space.

Heinlein:

"Sharpie, we have condensed six dimensions into four, then we either work by analogy into six, or we have to use math that apparently nobody but Jake and my cousin Ed understands. Unless you can think of some way to project six dimensions into three– you seem to be smart at such projections."
    I closed my eyes and thought hard. "Zebbie, I don't think it can be done. Maybe Escher could have done it."

Stevens:

A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954) in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120:

For Stevens, the poem "makes meanings of the rock." In the mind, "its barrenness becomes a thousand things/And so exists no more." In fact, in a peculiar irony that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion of the imagination's function could develop, the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered into such diamond-faceted brilliance that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought:

The rock is the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which he rises, up—and—ho,
The step to the bleaker depths of his descents ...

The rock is the stern particular of the air,
The mirror of the planets, one by one,
But through man's eye, their silent rhapsodist,

Turquoise the rock, at odious evening bright
With redness that sticks fast to evil dreams;
The difficult rightness of half-risen day.

The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near,
     point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B: the origin of the mango's rind.

                    (Collected Poems, 528)

Stevens's rock is associated with empty space, a concept that suggests "nothingness" to one literary critic:

B. J. Leggett, "Stevens's Late Poetry" in The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens— On the poem "The Rock":

"… the barren rock of the title is Stevens's symbol for the nothingness that underlies all existence, 'That in which space itself is contained'….  Its subject is its speaker's sense of nothingness and his need to be cured of it."

This interpretation might appeal to Joan Didion, who, as author of the classic novel Play It As It Lays, is perhaps the world's leading expert on Hollywood nihilism.

More positively…

Space is, of course, also a topic
in pure mathematics…
For instance, the 6-dimensional
affine space
(or the corresponding
5-dimensional projective space)

The 4x4x4 cube

over the two-element Galois field
can be viewed as an illustration of
Stevens's metaphor in "The Rock."

Heinlein should perhaps have had in mind the Klein correspondence when he discussed "some way to project six dimensions into three." While such a projection is of course trivial for anyone who has taken an undergraduate course in linear algebra, the following remarks by Philippe Cara present a much more meaningful mapping, using the Klein correspondence, of structures in six (affine) dimensions to structures in three.

Cara:

Philippe Cara on the Klein correspondence
Here the 6-dimensional affine
space contains the 63 points
of PG(5, 2), plus the origin, and
the 3-dimensional affine
space contains as its 8 points
Conwell's eight "heptads," as in
Generating the Octad Generator.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday February 17, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Diamond-Faceted:
Transformations
of the Rock

A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954) in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120:

For Stevens, the poem "makes meanings of the rock." In the mind, "its barrenness becomes a thousand things/And so exists no more." In fact, in a peculiar irony that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion of the imagination's function could develop, the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered into such diamond-faceted brilliance that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought:

The rock is the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which he rises, up—and—ho,
The step to the bleaker depths of his descents ...

The rock is the stern particular of the air,
The mirror of the planets, one by one,
But through man's eye, their silent rhapsodist,

Turquoise the rock, at odious evening bright
With redness that sticks fast to evil dreams;
The difficult rightness of half-risen day.

The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near,
     point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B: the origin of the mango's rind.

                    (Collected Poems, 528)

A mathematical version of
this poetic concept appears
in a rather cryptic note
from 1981 written with
Stevens's poem in mind:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090217-SolidSymmetry.jpg

For some explanation of the
groups of 8 and 24
motions referred to in the note,
see an earlier note from 1981.

For the Perlis "diamond facets,"
see the Diamond 16 Puzzle.

For a much larger group
of motions, see
Solomon's Cube.

As for "the mind itself"
and "possibilities for
human thought," see
Geometry of the I Ching.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday July 23, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 8:00 AM
 
Daniel Radcliffe
is 18 today.
 
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
 

Greetings.

“The greatest sorcerer (writes Novalis memorably)
would be the one who bewitched himself to the point of
taking his own phantasmagorias for autonomous apparitions.
Would not this be true of us?”

Jorge Luis Borges, “Avatars of the Tortoise”

El mayor hechicero (escribe memorablemente Novalis)
sería el que se hechizara hasta el punto de
tomar sus propias fantasmagorías por apariciones autónomas.
¿No sería este nuestro caso?”

Jorge Luis Borges, “Los Avatares de la Tortuga

Autonomous Apparition
 
 

At Midsummer Noon:

 
“In Many Dimensions (1931)
Williams sets before his reader the
mysterious Stone of King Solomon,
an image he probably drew from
a brief description in Waite’s
The Holy Kabbalah (1929) of
a supernatural cubic stone
on which was inscribed
‘the Divine Name.’”
 
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070624-Waite.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
 
Related material:
 
It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

 

Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit
,

And if we ate the incipient colorings
Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

– Wallace Stevens, “The Rock”

 
See also
 
as well as
Hofstadter on
his magnum opus:
 
“… I realized that to me,
Gödel and Escher and Bach
were only shadows
cast in different directions by
some central solid essence.
I tried to reconstruct
the central object, and
came up with this book.”
 
Goedel Escher Bach cover

Hofstadter’s cover.

 
Here are three patterns,
“shadows” of a sort,
derived from a different
“central object”:
 
Faces of Solomon's Cube, related to Escher's 'Verbum'

Click on image for details.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Tuesday February 6, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM
The Poetics of Space

The title is from Bachelard.
I prefer Stevens:

The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near, point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B:  the origin of the mango's rind.
It is the rock where tranquil must adduce
Its tranquil self, the main of things, the mind,

The starting point of the human and the end,
That in which space itself is contained, the gate
To the enclosure, day, the things illumined

By day, night and that which night illumines,
Night and its midnight-minting fragrances,
Night's hymn of the rock, as in a vivid sleep.

— Wallace Stevens,
   "The Rock," 1954

Joan Ockman in Harvard Design Magazine (Fall 1998):

"'We are far removed from any reference to simple geometrical forms,' Bachelard wrote…."

No, we are not. See Log24, Christmas 2005: 

Compare and contrast:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/EightfoldCubeCover.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/EightfoldWayCover.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

(Click on pictures for details.)

More on Bachelard from Harvard Design Magazine:

"The project of discerning a loi des quatre éléments would preoccupy him until his death…."

For such a loi, see Theme and Variations and…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070206-Elements.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

(Click on design for details.)

Thought for Today:
"If you can talk brilliantly
about a problem, it can create
the consoling illusion that
it has been mastered."
— Stanley Kubrick, American
movie director (1928-1999).

(AP, "Today in History,"
February 6, 2007)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday August 26, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Philosopher's Rock
 
(continued from  

previous entry)

"Alcatraz, Spanish for pelican, was named Isla de los Alcatraces after the birds that were the island's only inhabitants." —Bay City Guide

Related material

Thomas Kuhn's "Pelican Brief":

"… the Philosopher’s Stone was a psychic rather than a physical product.  It symbolized one’s Self…."

Philosopher's Pelican:

"The formula presents a symbol of the self…."

Jung and the Imago Dei:

"… Jung presents a diagram to illustrate the dynamic movements of the self…."

…the movement of
a self in the rock…

Stevens, The Rock, and Piranesi's Prisons

Wallace Stevens:
The Poems of Our Climate
,
by Harold Bloom,
Cornell U. Press, 1977

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wednesday January 11, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:30 PM

Time in the Rock

"a world of selves trying to remember the self
before the idea of self is lost–

Walk with me world, upon my right hand walk,
speak to me Babel, that I may strive to assemble
of all these syllables a single word
before the purpose of speech is gone."

— Conrad Aiken, "Prelude" (1932),
    later part of "Time in the Rock,
    or Preludes to Definition, XIX" (1936),
    in Selected Poems, Oxford U. Press
    paperback, 2003, page 156

"The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near, point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B: the origin of the mango's rind.
It is the rock where tranquil must adduce
Its tranquil self, the main of things, the mind,

The starting point of the human and the end,
That in which space itself is contained, the gate
To the enclosure, day, the things illumined

By day, night and that which night illumines,
Night and its midnight-minting fragrances,
Night's hymn of the rock, as in a vivid sleep."

— Wallace Stevens in The Rock (1954)

"Poetry is an illumination of a surface,
  the movement of a self in the rock."
— Wallace Stevens, introduction to
    The Necessary Angel, 1951
 

Related material:
Jung's Imago and Solomon's Cube.

 

The following may help illuminate the previous entry:

"I want, as a man of the imagination, to write poetry with all the power of a monster equal in strength to that of the monster about whom I write.  I want man's imagination to be completely adequate in the face of reality."

— Wallace Stevens, 1953 (Letters 790)

The "monster" of the previous entry is of course not Reese Witherspoon, but rather Vox Populi itself.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Friday December 10, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Gray Particular
in Hartford

From Wallace Stevens,

"The Rock, Part III:
Forms of the Rock in a Night-Hymn" —

The rock is
   the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which
   he rises, up–and–ho,
The step to
   the bleaker depths of his descents…

From this morning's
New York Times obituaries

The image “http://log24.com/log/pix03/nytC.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.leve Gray, a painter admired for his large-scale, vividly colorful and lyrically gestural abstract compositions, died on Wednesday in Hartford. He was 86.

The cause was a massive subdural hematoma suffered after he fell on ice and hit his head on Tuesday outside his home in Warren, Conn., said his wife, the writer Francine du Plessix Gray.

*******************************

Jackson Mac Low, a poet, composer and performance artist whose work reveled in what happens when the process of composition is left to carefully calibrated chance, died on Wednesday….

… in 1999 [he] received the Wallace Stevens Award, which carries a $100,000 prize, from the Academy of American Poets.

A Wallace Stevens Award,
in Seven Parts:

  I.  From a page linked to in
      Tuesday's entry White Christmas:

"A bemused Plato reasoned that nonbeing must in some sense be, otherwise what is it that there is not? In our own day Martin Heidegger ventured that das Nichts nichtet — 'the nothing nothings' — evidently still sensing a problem."
— W. V. Quine in Quiddities

 II.  "As if nothingness
             contained a métier…"
      — Wallace Stevens, "The Rock"

III.  "Massive subdural hematoma"
       — Three-word poem
           performed on Tuesday
           in Connecticut

IV.  mé·tier n.

 

  • An occupation, a trade, or a profession.
  • Work or activity for which a person is particularly suited; one's specialty.

[French, from Old French mestier, from Vulgar Latin misterium, from Latin ministerium. See ministry.]
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

 

  V.  "ho"
        — Wallace Stevens, "The Rock"

 VI.  Francine du Plessix Gray…
       From the
       Archives of the
       New York Review of Books:

July 16, 1992: Splendor and Miseries, review of

Women for Hire: Prostitution and Sexuality in France after 1850 by Alain Corbin, translated by Alan Sheridan

La Vie quotidienne dans les maisons closes, 1830–1930 by Laure Adler

Figures of Ill Repute: Representing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century France by Charles Bernheimer

Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era by Hollis Clayson

VII.   From an entry of April 29, 2004:

 

"… a 'dead shepherd who brought
tremendous chords from hell
And bade the sheep carouse' "

 

— Wallace Stevens
as quoted by Michael Bryson

 

(p. 227, The Palm
at the End of the Mind:

Selected Poems and a Play.
Ed. Holly Stevens.

New York: Vintage Books, 1990)

 

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Sunday December 5, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Chorus from
The Rock

Author Joan Didion is 70 today.

On Didion’s late husband, John Gregory Dunne:

“His 1989 memoir Harp includes Dunne’s early years in Hartford and his Irish-Catholic family’s resentment of WASP social superiority: ‘Don’t stand out so that the Yanks can see you,’ he wrote, ‘don’t let your pretensions become a focus of Yank merriment and mockery.'”

The Hartford Courant, August 4, 2002

From a Hartford Protestant:

The American Sublime

How does one stand
To behold the sublime,
To confront the mockers,
The mickey mockers
And plated pairs?

When General Jackson
Posed for his statue
He knew how one feels.
Shall a man go barefoot
Blinking and blank?

But how does one feel?
One grows used to the weather,
The landscape and that;
And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,

The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space.
What wine does one drink?
What bread does one eat?

— Wallace Stevens

A search of the Internet for “Wallace Stevens”  + “The Rock” + “Seventy Years Later” yields only one quotation…

Log24 entries of Aug. 2, 2002:

From “Seventy Years Later,” Section I of “The Rock,” a poem by Wallace Stevens:

A theorem proposed
between the two —
Two figures in a nature
of the sun….

From page 63 of The New Yorker issue dated August 5, 2002:

“Birthday, death-day —
what day is not both?”
— John Updike

From Didion’s Play It As It Lays:

Everything goes.  I am working very hard at not thinking about how everything goes.  I watch a hummingbird, throw the I Ching but never read the coins, keep my mind in the now.
— Page 8

From Play It As It Lays:

I lie here in the sunlight, watch the hummingbird.  This morning I threw the coins in the swimming pool, and they gleamed and turned in the water in such a way that I was almost moved to read them.  I refrained.
— Page 214

And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,
The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space.

One heart will wear a Valentine.
— Sinatra, 1954

Monday, January 20, 2003

Monday January 20, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:00 PM

Shine On, Robinson Jeffers

"…be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, 
      a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits,
     that caught — they say — God, when he walked on earth."
Shine, Perishing Republic, by Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers died at Big Sur, California, on January 20, 1962 — a year to the day after Robert Frost spoke at the Kennedy inauguration.

"The poetry of Robinson Jeffers shines with a diamond's brilliance when he depicts Nature's beauty and magnificence.   His verse also flashes with a diamond's hardness when he portrays human pain and folly."
Gary Suttle  

"Praise Him, He hath conferred aesthetic distance
Upon our appetites, and on the bloody
Mess of our birthright, our unseemly need,
Imposed significant form. Through Him the brutes
Enter the pure Euclidean kingdom of number…."
— Howard Nemerov, 
   Grace To Be Said at the Supermarket 

"Across my foundering deck shone 
A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash 
Fáll to the resíduary worm; | world's wildfire, leave but ash: 
In a flash, at a trumpet crash, 
I am all at once what Christ is |, since he was what I am, and 
Thís Jack, jóke, poor pótsherd, | patch, matchwood,
    immortal diamond, 
Is immortal diamond."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins,
    That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection

"In the last two weeks, I've been returning to Hopkins.  Even in the 'world's wildfire,' he asserts that 'this Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,/Is immortal diamond.' A comfort."
— Michael Gerson, head White House speechwriter,
    in Vanity Fair, May 2002, page 162

"There's none but truth can stead you.  Christ is truth."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins

"The rock cannot be broken.  It is the truth."
— Wallace Stevens 

"My ghost you needn't look for; it is probably
Here, but a dark one, deep in the granite…."
— Robinson Jeffers, Tor House

On this date in 1993, the inauguration day of William Jefferson Clinton, Audrey Hepburn died.

"…today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully…."
Maya Angelou, January 20, 1993

"So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger'd still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire"
— John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes (January 20), IX

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Hearts On Fire
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"Eightpointed symmetrical signs are ancient symbols for the Venus goddess or the planet Venus as either the Morning star or the Evening star."
Symbols.com

"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.  Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame."
Song of Solomon

"The last words from the people in the towers and on the planes, over and over again, were 'I love you.'  Over and over again, the message was the same, 'I love you.' …. Perhaps this is the loudest chorus from The Rock:  we are learning just how powerful love really is, even in the face of death."
The Rev. Kenneth E. Kovacs

"Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again."
The Who 

See also my note, "Bright Star," of October 23, 2002.

 

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