This post on the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog on quantum poetics has me all riled up (in the best way), and rattling off about it to Carl wasn’t enough, so here I am.
I’ve had a keen sense lately that the different “minds” — scientific, analytic, energetic, poetic, spiritual — are on paths toward each other. And not in the usual “holistic thinking” way. That is nice but falls short. This is about more than the usual awareness and intermingling of disparate ideas.
So often something rooted in science, especially physics and astronomy, sparks questions, ideas, or beliefs that (for me) end up being manipulated via poetics. This is happening more frequently and with greater intensity than before, with an underlying persistence that makes me wonder if these “minds” might eventually crystallize into something wholly distinct. Rather than unlikely couplings illuminating the big picture, could they be the framework of the picture itself?
I hinted at this in my post about emptiness in space… the idea of bringing my poetic mind to what might have traditionally been questions of science. On a recent draft of a poem, I finally gave up on line edits and simply wrote “Learn more astronomy” at the bottom of the page. And not just for the sake of accurate content details… but for the concepts and what they present to poetry, and vice versa.
So tonight I discover this post, and much like finally getting the diagnosis for a funny growth on your arm or an obscure pain in your gut, I had that shiver of, “Oh, they’ve got a name for this!”
Quantum poetics. This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to shut my door and read and write for days and days. This quote in particular (from the essay “Quantum Poetics: Writing the Speed of Light”) makes me giddy:
“If language is not merely descriptive but participates in the formation of physical reality, then poetry might be said to constitute a manipulation of physics, which would redefine poetry as not just a phenomenon of consciousness or an ontological and/or epistemological activity, but also as a clinamatic mutation on physical reality, or what might be thought of as nature.”
So damn fascinating. And so much to learn… it’s one thing to be enamored with the ideas, it’s another to understand and play around with the mechanics. For now, I’m going to keep unpacking it and keep trying to tune in (and perhaps spilling more here when the energy needs a home, especially if it means connecting with others who are exploring similar ideas).