Henry's Sermon for Lent 2006
I was never very good at math. It bored me so much my head spun, though I liked geometry.
But I'm intrigued by mathematicians : Godel, Turing, Cantor. Nicolas of Cusa : not exactly a mathematician, but he liked to frame his spiritual insights in math/science language. Simone Weil!!!
I used to do diagrams of God/Word/Man, using sun/moon/earth & a compass, when I was a young Jesus freak. (This was in London, when I was trying to convert the Rolling Stones. Happy Mardi Gras.)
You confront the finite/infinite whenever you draw a circle, or diagonal a square.
Liking Andrew Hodges' bio of Turing.
Lying in the meadow grass, inventing the computing machine.
& I'm thinking of the formal aspects of poetry as algorithms (again). My experience of metrical pattern over long stretches : you let the machine take over, in order to do something more subtle on top of it. (But that doesn't really do justice to the give-&-take.)
Thinking of Poetry World in relation to Math World. Is it possible to master certain traditional knowledge (as a mathematician must) in poetry, & then work on a certain "cutting edge" of the unknown?
(This would inevitably lead to poetry's boundaries : history, ethics, politics, religion, science, linguistics, anthropology, society, art, music, culture in general, comparative literature, comparative culture studies, Brits vs. Yanks vs. N'Orleans Suthuners.... ie., traits...)
Oh, God (says God). That's more boring than math, Hank!!!
g'night, fellow weirdos. tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. see you in Ashcan School.