I too try to "embody the word", in a poetry way. Here's an inkling of the "number, weight & measure" involved. (I'm sorry to repeat myself again on this blog - but I'm trying to outline a particular personal framework for poetic "embodiment".)

I wrote Forth of July in Rhode Island. The guiding spirit of this place is Roger Williams, founder of Providence; RI is considered the first political entity founded explicitly on the separation of Church & State.

Williams' worldview rhymes (roughly, an off-rhyme) with Dante's perspective, in the Divina Commedia and the essay De Monarchia. Dante believed that the Holy Spirit provided a legitimate role for secular humanity, secular government, in the providential historical process leading toward the renewal of the earth, the "Earthly Paradise", corrupted since the Fall. Rome, and the Holy Roman Emperor, he considered the true authority under which this renovation would occur. At the end of the Commedia, in the Paradiso, in the center of the heavenly Rose, Dante placed an empty throne, destined for the messianic Emperor who would oppose Papal pretentions to secular authority, restoring Italy, the Empire, and thus the whole world - Emperor Henry VII.

As Stubborn Grew/The Rose moves into its central volume, a certain numerical structure crystallizes (and then expands in the following volumes), based on 7/4 (4th of July), 5/28, and 5/29. The central volume (Grassblade Light) consists of 7 chapters (actually 8 panels - the center chapter containing a double panel). Each chapter is made up of 28 poems, each poem containing 28 lines (7 quatrains). At the center of the 28 is a 29th poem with a kind of square structure (16 quatrains total). (This is the template - & though there are slight variations in some chapters, the total line count for each chapt. is almost exactly the same.)

I designed this octagonal structure after the shape of a castle in southern Italy built by that great opponent of the Pope, (Holy Roman) Emperor Frederick II, which has 8 sides, and squarish towers at each angle.

The following volume, July, is designed as a mirror-image to the 1st vol., Stubborn Grew. It comes in 2 halves: the first half consists of 5 chapters, each containing 5 poems of 28 quatrains each. The 2nd half of the book has a very complicated structure (again using poems of 7 quatrains) which I won't get into here.

William Blackstone, RW's friend, Anglican preacher-in-exile, planter of the first known apple orchard in the New World (in Cumberland, RI), & figure in these poems, was buried on his property on 5.28.1675. His property ("Study Hill") was burned to the ground the next day, 5.29 (this was during King Philip's War).

5.29 is my birthday, and RI Statehood Day.

The entire poem (Forth of July) was finished on 5.28.2000, with this line :

"the nef rows, rows... palms, heartbeats, light."

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