Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Losing Self-Evidence

[Norma Photo]

There is a geometry
To everything we see,
Which --if we solve for
Angles and drift--
Slides, shifts, dissolves,
Is lost to eucalyptus,
Roofs, orchards and
Sunny yellow fields
Before we wake in what
Our calculations yield.


  1. So many of your poems are geometrical, most less obviously than this. I wonder what your reflections are about that nonrepresentational quality of mind you have. And calculated. Again, you make a point of it here, but you do seem to me over the years as one who carefully calculates. Angular, too. The natural scene yields--as you say here--to those angles and that calculus, not unlike that branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. Food for thought?

  2. Ok, it started when I remembered poor sad Miss Fox reproving me in front of class for not qualifying a right angle before proving a more complex figure. I retorted, "the right angle is self-evident." She then rightly flunked my presentation, after which she left teaching to marry a turkey farmer. 30 years later, Norma became friends with her and described the former Miss Fox as one of the happiest people she'd ever met. Nobody thanked me, but I couldn't be more pleased. We abandoned Euclid togther and glimpsed that "infinite series". What a thought-provoking comment, Will!

  3. Yes. I remember all that. Miss Fox the old maid EGHS math teacher was Elk Grove's equivalent of "To Kill a Mockingbird"'s Boo Radley until she met that turkey farmer some years later--and like many others--I was amazed and delighted at her redemption! She was definitely obsessively angular and geometrical....


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