Six Dimensions of Poetry

VOLTA

The turn, the break, "This Be the Verse." The clinamen, the swerve:

The atoms, as their own weight bears them down 
Plumb through the void, at scarce determined times, 
In scarce determined places, from their course 
Decline a little-- call it, so to speak, 
Mere changed trend. For were it not their wont 
Thuswise to swerve, down would they fall, each one, 
Like drops of rain, through the unbottomed void; 
And then collisions ne'er could be nor blows 
Among the primal elements; and thus 
Nature would never have created aught. 

Lucretius, The Nature of Things, trans. William Ellery Leonard

Heidegger says that only a god can save us. But Lucretius says we have no gods. Only the volta.

DOUBLING

"is another," says Rimbaud, castigating "the false significance of Self." The pronoun in the poem is the mask. The poem is the impossible touch of the other in the mirror. And the poem works by doubling: call it rhyme, call it repetition. How many flowers? "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose."

A dimension is a question of structure.

CADENCE

The quality of time in the body (of the speaker, of the listener, of the line, of the poem).

SILENCE

Language is not identical with itself. Attentiveness to this.

Each dimension midwifes the emergence of the others.

THINGS

Language is not identical with itself. Forgetfulness of this.

The rhythmic emergence and submergence of the referent. Immanent mimesis of the poem, which does not describe things, which is a thing in relation to the other things it does not describe.

OUTSIDE

What the volta admits, what the language doubles, what the cadence remarks, what silence acknowledges, what cherishes the things.

The spirituality of the Möbius strip, which is a thing any child can make with a strip of paper and some tape. 

The activeness of creatures without a creator.

What Hopkins calls "Christ." What Jews call

The Law. "There are no / final orders."

No home.