Peter Boyle

(1951 - / Melbourne / Australia)

The Apocrypha Of William O'shaunessy: Book Ii, Xvii - Poem by Peter Boyle

In those days the sun was always sliding off the edge of the visible, vanishing then reappearing in the least likely places – a locked cupboard, a woman’s sandal, a darkened mirror or the shallow mound of earth where a gardener might be planting a rosebush. Sometimes at noon it would turn itself inside out so that its black core glared terrifyingly towards the homes of men.

Then the great Continuator took measure and numbers were assigned to the heavens and the geometric forms were invented – the circle, the rhombus, the triangle and the apeiron eidolon – the figure where an infinity of lines redraw themselves according to the secret numbers of the universe.

From all these numbers and formulae the goddess that presides over music ordered the realm of the audible, creating the five tone scale, the nine notes and the 360 variations of resonance.

Likewise these numbers spilt into the visible and the tangible, creating architecture and the knowledge of the proportions, and the yearning for the intuitive numbers that men recognise as beauty.

Yet in the human heart the sun still vanishes at random and all formula fail. The black core of the universe cannot be caught in the web that measures, does not answer to the laws of the Mathemasis. Heedless it burns through eye and hand. As space it is the vortex that consumes, in the world of men it is the unlimited war that destroys. [απειροσ πολεμοσ, το πανορφνουμενο]

(Photius of Aegispotami, Against Pythagoras)

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012

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