Constellations of Thought

Two new poems on display from Alessio Zanelli. They provoke much thought (as does all good poetry), with sound and sense aligning like the stars. The music of the spheres, etc..

Pythagoras, Kepler, Spinoza, Bach, Gorecki, Arvo Pärt . . .

Are words on the page similar to those stars? In that, they mean nothing as individual letters, but only mean something when linked to other letters, other forms of language, other models, things, images we attach to those words. The stars in the sky, of course, do not form “constellations” in reality. We form them. We associate them with gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, stories, myths and legends. We do that. And notes and numbers? We create geometries and systems, harmonies and ratios. Our imaginations do that. It would seem we are compelled to make this happen, with letters, words, numbers, notes, sentences, books and so on. The very structure of our brain seems to compel us to group, link, associate, order, and structure the disparate multiplicity surrounding us.

What would the world look like to us if we had a different kind of brain structure? What would it look like if we never felt compelled to group, tag this to that, order so many separate and unique elements together to form new hierarchies, new associations, surprising blends, unions, comities? Could we ever make music or poetry? As both depend so much on linking, arranging, forging harmonies, finding commonalities and connections.

And then there is this: It would seem that our natural brain structure does not quite go far enough, when it comes to finding connections and links, associations and similarities. There is always something there that seeks division as well, that fears differences, that is suspicious of The Other. What would happen to our world if we saw, naturally, as an everyday norm, the similarities that exist between the most apparently divergent realities? What would happen if we evolved as a species enough to see poetry and music in the everyday interaction on display all around us? The next step, the next bit of climbing up the ladder, might make “thinking poetically”, thinking in musical forms, the default for all of us.

A new poetry and a new musical form would then emerge to push and pull us yet another step. Closer to . . . ?

Constellations of Thought
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