Friday, 28 September 2012

An imaginary numbers game

I photographed three numbers.

They total twenty-eight. 

Today is the 28th day of the month. So here they are: 10, 13, 5.

 What does it all mean, this business of numbers? You may well ask it. And I will reply: Does it need to mean anything at all? It means different things to different people. Or it may mean nothing to many. I imagine you already knew that. 

Wallace Stevens begins page 28 of my copy of his Collected Poems with the line: One eats one pate´, even of salt, quotha. The poem containing this line is called THE COMEDIAN AS THE LETTER C. It begins: (1) The World without Imagination. 

And Stevens is a poet of the imagination!

At the sight of blackbirds / Flying in a green light, / Even the bawds of euphony / Would cry out sharply.

It was evening all afternoon. / It was snowing / And it was going to snow. / The blackbird sat / In the cedar-limbs.

I do not know which to prefer, / The beauty of inflections / Or the beauty of innuendoes, / The blackbird whistling / Or just after.

Note to captions: THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT A BLACKBIRD begins on page 92 of The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens ed. Ferozsons (Pvt.) Ltd. Lahore - Rawalpindi - Karachi
ISBN 969 0 00707 6 pub. 1987 price Rs 90.00


  1. Talk of numerology always reminds me of Alban Berg.

    Rather than plagiarize or reinvent the wheel:

  2. Interesting post Gwil and lovely pictures too. Numbers have always been a mystery to me and yet Dominic's son had just completed his MSc in maths and is fascinated by number. Give me words any time.

  3. Dominic, thanks for the link. Knowing you it'll be good!
    By the way, your long distance walking comrade might enjoy my new piece about the Soleleitungweg at Bard on the Run.

    Pat, I know just what you mean ;) How I got a GCE in maths is one of life's mysteries.

  4. I asked my son why I was sometimes able to grasp a mathematical concept when reading a a book but forgot it later.

    He said you can teach an octopus to open a jam jar but the next day it will have forgotten how to do it and you'll have to teach it again.

  5. Ah, ha! Dominic, that explains much.


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