Some years ago I read an article where a scientist had written the name of the universe. It had something like 30+ syllables in it, each one denoting a different element or component. I thought about this for months and months because it just didn’t feel right. The naming of something is so important: it can be prophetic and expansive, or limiting and prejudicial. This poem probably took about a year to write in the end because whenever I walked the hills or sat with the trees all I could think is how complexity comes from absolute simplicity and so I continued reducing and condensing the idea until I was left with this poem. If the universe could be put into language she would be a giant ‘and’. This is condensed and strengthened again into the symbol of an ampersand. Finally her name cannot be written, because the strength of ‘&’ lies in the potential and possibility, so as soon as it’s written down the form becomes rigid and closed. Anyway – not sure why I was thinking about this just now as we’re driving across the south of Greece – perhaps because I equate Greece with philosophy, and the Greek alphabet on all the signs had me thinking about symbols. This poem is in the ‘Prophecy: conversations with my Self’ poetry pamphlet you can download for free from the ‘her story’ section of my website: SophieMcKeand.com.
As an aside – I’ve since becomes obsessed with using ampersands in poems, feels like I’m stitching a tiny piece of the universe into each one ♥️