Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 27 February 2010

All hail Dawkins, Descartes and that lot

This is an attempt to match the more conversational style that Plutarch and Lucy use so well: a structure based on sentences rather than "poetic" clumps of words. Since this approach is still alien I fear I end up with lines that appear tongue-in-cheek. The sonnet, now slightly modified, first appeared on The Crow's blog and is in response to a link where science was being celebrated. Better still it manages to squeak through here by making a distant obeisance to my "mission statement" at the top of the page.

Sonnet – Lead kindly light
I sigh, I pluck the lute, I turn to Keats
The world, my mistress, is too grand for me.
Her essence is a series of defeats
For my blunt intellectuality.
I ache with lust and would grasp more of her
If I could understand her secrecy
But she is power and charm and gold and myrrh
Bound in the maths of atomicity.
I may not love her but at least I flirt
With tiny glimpses of her gorgeousness
The lens of science renders me alert
To here and there within her boundlessness
I’m pandered to by Maxwell, Gauss and Bohr
Whose flashes lit the dark I now abhor.

NOTES:
(1) Atomicity is a made-up word.
(2) Pander has a darker meaning.

Novel progress 1/3/10. Ch. 16: 2507 words. Chs. 1 - 15: 67,628 words. Comments: Hatch nonplusses Hester.

11 comments:

Plutarch said...

Although, allowanced being made for irony, lute-plucking and sighing are scarcely what I would expect of a son of the West Riding, I am glad to be the first to congratulate you on this account of the fascination which science and all its mysteries has for us. "The tiny glimpses of her gorgeousness," sums up the nagging to know more about what is hard and sometimes impossible to understand.

Rouchswalwe said...

May I say in all emotionality - I adore science-loving sonneteers!

The Crow said...

I think the line that did me in is: "I ache with lust and would grasp more of her..."

I know you wrote more after that, but my brain fainted right there and I can't revive it.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

The Crow said...

Well, your revised last line may be more scientifically accurate, but I liked the poetic image of protons skating on the surface of the Universe.

Still a very good piece of writing, BB.

The Crow said...

PS: the new title is better, IM(NS)HO.

Hattie said...

Yes. Wonderful. I often think about the mystery of things in just this way. But you express it!

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: This isn't the one I wanted to write. The aim was to weave some science into the verse; I tried this on the last line, worried that Tom might read it, and replaced it with something blander.

RW (zS): You're touching on one of my failings - an inordinate love of getting very, very long words (eg, intellectuality) into the line.

The Crow: Simmer down, please. It's a metaphor, not the real thing. Re. the last line, see above. Re. the new heading is better, incorporates a little irony, that much misunderstood transatlantic quality.

Hattie: Not really. See my response to Plutarch, above.

The Crow said...

Mataphor, yes - as was my line, "...my brain fainted right there," meaning your expression of yearning was a direct hit, was stunning, as in gobsmacked, knock-me-down. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been.

I, too, lust after understanding this world - physical and metaphysical - in which I find myself tumbling along. Your line was wonderful, and so was the "protons skating on the surface".

Irony...time to visit Wikipedia, I reckon.

Julia said...

The first time I read your title, I thought it said "Lead, kindle light" and it did seem to go well with blunt intellectuality and a sort of modern day alchemy.

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: One of the reasons Brits and Americans differ over what constitutes irony is because the Americans pronounce it ire-onny while we do eye-ronny. A decision taken in 1776 I imagine.

Julia: I'm not doing well with my allusions to hymns, am I? Only Plutarch responded to my recent Hymns A & M poetry primer, and now this. As you know, I'm a Sony Ebook Reader man myself.

Lucy said...

I really liked that hymns post, BTW, just couldn't think of a sufficiently witty rejoinder to any of them.

This is all a bit saucy, no wonder Crow's getting an attack of the vapours. But is it not conceivably anti-science to imply that science is a bit of a tart? ('By that same token...')

'Atomicity' really is a splendid coinage.