In Praise of Gravity

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In Praise of Gravity

Which bestows weight
or slings me around
some other heavenly

body, a version of you
wondering whether
I’ll rise from my next

plummet, victim of
curvature and infinite
range held in place,

attractive in nature,
bent perhaps and
scarred, proud to have

survived but never wiser.
Cleansed, we continue
our orbit, our mirrored fall.


This last appeared on the blog in November 2015, and is also included in my chapbook, If Your Matter Could Reform.

42 thoughts on “In Praise of Gravity

  1. This offers a whole new (or, as the case may be, more ancient…) take on the theological implications of our “fallen” nature, as accounted scripture. It seems, we may have Aristotle to thank for the (relatively) modern association of “fallen” with impurity, corruption, and brokenness. The word for sinful/fallen/tragically flawed in ancient Greek, hamartia, was originally an archery term, which literally meant, “missing the mark.” If the “mark” is understood to mean eternal, heavenly ascension on the order of a god (i.e., a being not subject to the constraints of nature), then yes, by contrast, all human beings — however steep and earnest our skyward aims may be — always, necessarily “miss the mark” before our trajectories take us careening back to the ground.

    I agree that our essential condition of being “bestowed with weight” by an unseen force of greatness definitely ought to be a point of pride; and I also can’t help but to wonder whether it actually was originally understood as such? Perhaps, we once celebrated our identities as entities who “fell” in accordance with the law of physics we observed to be consistent and uniform throughout the natural world? What could be more spiritually-fulfilling, more grounding and reassuring, than seeing the constancy and strength of our own connection to the earth “mirrored” for us everywhere we look with open eyes and hearts?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. i have had a guest who has returned a few times to my guesthouse, he specializes in rubber, he is one of those scientists we have nowadays. one time he brought a group of peers with him. we talked about science & i said i had a big problem with it. all ears they asked why. i said i didn’t agree with scientists when they explain that an equation is an exact means of describing something like, say gravity. i said that if anyone tried to explain gravity to me with an equation i’d be non the wiser to it, but if they dropped their dinner on the floor & said that is gravity, well, i’d get the idea. they for some reason thought my stupidity intensely wise. i was trying to be funny.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’ve been thinking about the form of your poem, Robert; that always interests me. Regular three line stanzas and short lines of equal length – you’ve clearly thought about this carefully. Most important is your use of enjambment between stanzas. We often see this in poems where it appears to be almost arbitrary or a compromise to shovel the words in without letting the lines become too long. Your use of it here is controlled and purposeful: it occurs in almost every stanza, so the reader can tell that this is no accident (I would have been tempted to deploy it at the end of the third stanza as well), and in each case it accentuates the content: the displacement of a word to the next stanza illustrates orbit, falling, survival. Congratulations!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for noticing, John. Form and flow are often underappreciated tools in the poet’s kit. I recite as I write, and often let a phrase’s natural rhythm tell me where a line should end. Enjambment, of course, can enhance those endings, by offering space and even surprise – little turns or twists.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: In Praise of Gravity – πŸ‘οΈ STREETPSYCHIATRY πŸ‘οΈ

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