Friday, February 20, 2009

Poetry Friday - Dante, and more

"Divine Geometry"
from Dante's Divine Comedy
translated by Dorothy L. Sayers

As the geometer his mind applies
To square the circle, not for all his wit
Finds the right formula, howe'er he tries,

So strove I with wonder--how to fit
The image of the sphere; so sought to see
How it maintained the point of rest in it.

Thither my own wings could not carry me,
But that a flash my understanding clove,
Whence its desire came to it suddenly.

High phantasy lost power and here broke off;
Yet as a wheel moves smoothly, free from jars
My will and my desire were turned by love,

The love that moves the sun and the other stars.

from The Pythagorean Liturgy

Though in noon's heaven no star you see,
Know well that many there must be.
And with your soul's extended ears
You'll hear the music of the spheres.

Read about Pythagoreanism here. And for an interesting look (and listen) at one man's attempt to hear literally the planets as they orbit the sun, visit Carmen of the Spheres.

Poetry Friday is being hosted today at The Holly and the Ivy. Head on over and check it out!


Nandini said...

Thanks so much for posting this! My work in progress is a historical novel about a mathematician/astronomers daughter. The music of the spheres is just the inspiration I needed today!

Kelly said...


Fiddler said...

Nandini, I'm glad to have helped by posting a relevant poem.

I love that "flash," that inkling of what-it's-all-about that comes when you least expect it.

Kelly,thanks for stopping by. My Fridays have gotten busy, so after I post I often don't get around to checking out other posts until the weekend, or even later. Will be online tomorrow to see what you and others posted this week!