Tuesday, January 30, 2007

PT: The Poetry of Numbers


First, clear a workspace, make room. Maybe
before you have finished, you will have broken
the code. Have a seat. Pay attention.

Look out the window before you begin to count.
Take notes: the sky is liquid with falling water.
Find pathways on the glass. Begin.

100,000 light years illuminate the diameter
of the Milky Way. 1,000,000 kilometers equals
the diameter of the sun. Therefore:

in a universe full of personable gods,
or brutal gods, vengeful or vain and hungry gods,
only in our dreams can we imagine the 10,000 names

of just this 1 god. It has no bearing on the universe.
There are no rational or real numbers, maybe
there are more names than grains of sand--and every name

is precious. Write: YHWH. Write: El Shaddai
and Shiva, Ruach haQudesh (The Holy Spirit), and Brahma.
Allah alone has 999 names. There is no frozen spot

of light that remains anonymous. Try Abhir the Almighty.
Try Kadosh the Holy One, Shaphat the Judge. The list
grows long, and reads like a book of arcane Jewish poets,

a bounded set of geometric points that can be enclosed
within a box. When the sky clears we find that Pluto
is now called 134340--in a projectile motion of falling bodies

where t=Time and a=Acceleration to gravity. Maybe
God's 10,000 names are really a number, a googleplex of
numbers. Note: this is reputed to be the largest number

with a name, being a 1 followed by a google of 0's,
in a deleted neighborhood encountered in a study of limits.
Is the thunder an interval? Is the rain a set union?
Does each drop have a name?

(Okay, what am I saying here? I have no idea. This is all bulls**t, and I have NO mathematical understanding whatsoever....)


silverlight said...

that is why disputes over theology are incomprehensible.

Anonymous said...

Oooh. This is excellent Pepek!

I'm not sure what you're trying to say but you say it with such authority that I believe you!

Too many good lines to name but here's one, "Find pathways on the glass. Begin."

I will come back to read this again, after I figure out what the heck to write for Poetry Thursday (math is not my strong suit).

pepektheassassin said...

I'm not putting this link up til Thursday. I was just trying it out, seeing how it looked typed. It's not lined up exactly as I wanted, but the computer wouldn't do the equations...it thought I was writing up some strange computer code or something. But, oh well.

pepektheassassin said...

My son says what I am trying so say is that THE UNIVERSE is Big and Unknowable -- just like MATH!

:D That works for me.

Norma said...

It's not Thursday yet, but I'm guessing this is the assignment. Looks fabulous. I could just love the title and first 3 lines. Yes. Pay attention.

Mine will be up Thursday. Hope you stop by. I had such fun writing it.

DewyKnickers said...

Thanks for the visit. :)

Just numbers after all.


Anonymous said...

Well, I thought you knew exactly what you were talking about! I was going with it all the way!
Great job!

Anonymous said...

I wrote six comments and deleted them because they all failed to get IT.


I like it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you need the disclaimer at the bottom at all - I think you have tons to say in this poem and that most of it can be left up to interpretation - which I love.

I tried to pick a favorite line - but I like so many. The closing in italics though - *phew* Wow.

Anonymous said...

Absolute BEST title of the day. No doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

This is fabulous! Well done. I did not tackle this prompt, because I hate math with a passion and am not inspired to write poetry about it.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Theology and math all in one in a very thoughtful way.
Thanks for visiting me too.
I'll come back.

Anonymous said...

thank you for visiting... I do appreciate it.

I love your take on the prompt... and your summary had me shrieking.

I like this blog... tell me did you have a Davy Crocket hat when you were little... I loved mine. Also saw the pic of the baby... gorgeous. I'm a proud grandma too... except they live a couple a thousand miles away...

lotsa luv ann xxx

silverlight said...

everything about the universe is incomprehensible. tha's what keeps life interesting and worth living.

Anonymous said...

I really like the idea of the unknowable, infinite god/gods all being interconnected. Call me crazy, but it makes sense to me. :)

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to me, too. There are so many names of just the Judeo-Christian God and to put all the names of all the gods together that everyone in every time could have ever named and worshiped I can imagine would be an infinite set. One could spend several lifetimes trying to name them all and would not even put a dent in the equation of God.

Anonymous said...

Very cool poem, mathematical understanding or no.

Anonymous said...

This so cool - like other commenters I believed you were a mathemetician - a poem of worth - just like you!

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is wonderful from the description of rain as 'the sky is liquid with falling water' to the thought provoking theology. And I agree with silverlight entirely.

Anonymous said...

It made a certain sense to me, too, I think your son is right.

thanks for coming back to my blog...still stuck, but pondering and waiting for the light bulb.

Endment said...

Now - this sounds really good!!!

These computers are pretty stubborn - mine insists on words being done its way also :)

Anonymous said...

Pepek, you may not have known what you were saying but it was fantastic. Just the title "The Ten Thousand Names of God" gives me goose bumps. The univerise seems full of the "Proof" of God. Wonderful.
And thanks for reading my poem and for your great comment.

Anonymous said...

Of course a good bull-sheet artist who projects confidence can make most anyone believe anything. On the other hand when they try to make everyone believe nothing they fail miserably.
So what is her name, and how many stars serve her and how many manys are in the gallexy?
Good job, it was really a fun read.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's bullsh*t. I really enjoyed reading this and considering the human need to categorize, specify, understand, reduce; but then, isn't language a sort of math, itself? Hmm. Circles. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

It made sense to me! In a non-sensical way!


k said...

Oh, just beautiful. And I loved mathematics - although by now I've forgotten them all - so I can appreciate the love of the beauty of math.

Those arcane-looking formulas have a stand-alone beauty. You don't need to have ever understood a speck of math to appreciate how pretty that equation looks.