Since the 1970s, periodically, I've become fascinated with number symbolism, gematria. The books of John Michell, something of a New Age (& old British) eccentric, on ancient/Egyptian/Pythagorean/Platonic canons of number & "sacred" geometry. (Related somewhat to viewpoint of another eccentric author, Giorgio de Santillana - see his book Hamlet's Mill.)

Much of it needs to be taken with massive grain of salt - in particular, the notions (unsupported by much evidence, if any) of 1) superior ancient civilizations (Atlantis & such), and 2) the extrapolation of Plato's arch-conservative and anti-democratic political tendencies. (Michell's sneers at democracy, & such.)

Yet I am, as I say, recurrently absorbed with such explorations of ancient number symbolism in both Plato & the Bible - the detailed measurements of the Ark, the Temple, the New Jerusalem (Bk of Revelation), the canons of architecture in Greece & other parts of ancient world, the correspondence of harmonic ratios, numbers, names, & themes in archaic literature...

& it shows up in my poetry, especially the long projects... maybe someday these works will be understood as playful percursors of a new/old sort of philosophical & literary culture...

This is something of a Hart Crane theme (cf. "Atlantis" in The Bridge), & a Whitman & Melville stratum... it comes through in sometimes (I think) funny ways in my poems (see for ex. the role of eccentric Minnesota Senator, Shakespeare crank, & Atlantis theorizer, Ignatius Donnelly, in Stubborn Grew... if you click on this link, you see the book cover - that's Ignatius, down in the lower lefthand corner).

(I guess I've blogged on this before...)

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