Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 18, No. 1, 2019
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Bernard Dubé
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David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nick Catalano
Lynda Renée
Gary Olson
Howard Richler
Oslavi Linares
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Jordan Adler
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Daniel Charchuk
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Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Navi Pillay
Ernesto Zedillo
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
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Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward




R.J.Andres, Ph.D, is a retired Long Island, New York, mathematics and English teacher and author of numerous math textbooks.


Speaking of Art and Science

It is obvious that, for each of us, language is our hive, our nest, and that our quintessential behavior in that nest has been endless shared conversations about our being here, what we know, and how we survive. Furthermore, it is our very DNA that says we must talk to each other and figure out the world.

To that end, our symbols are the genes of civilization, of knowing, sharing, and transforming all sensory input into some creative response.

To be sure, in each newly-forged image, equation or formula, the unexpected metaphors in art and science conspire in helping us to know what is the essence of the world (Gaia), the universe, and of all that is real.



According to Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle,”
at any given point in time it is impossible to simultaneously measure
both the position and speed of a particle
because any attempts to determine such measures
will change either the position or the velocity of that particle.

There is the finch
and there is the flight of the finch,
and certainly
everyone seeing that flight defies the “principle.”

In truth, however,
we cannot expect some poet’s word-fix
to disentangle the finch and the “flight of”
since the slipknot of language,
very like that “principle,”
will always allow what is real to escape.

Of course, this “principle” is not so very new:
Plato’s ancient allegory claims both bird and flight
to be but cave shadows on the wall
formed by the sandwich of the real real
between the light and the wall we face.

And today,
out of the froth of cosmic dust-ups
in the large Hadron Collider,
the resulting graphic traceries
seen only as etched curves of energy on a plate
are the entrails of real particles left for us to conjure
like some Delphic oracles of an X-world.

Nonetheless, I believe
the most real measure of the finch in flight
is the vision of the wind having feathers and bones.


While our bone moon has captured fossil DNA of the universe,
we cannot stop casting lines back over the edge of time,
and, like Sisyphus,
for whom hope is never-ending,
we are all about beginnings:
consider how we muse on the Paleolithic cave-art of Lascaux,
recall the epic storied towers of Troy,
probe the quiet pyramids of Cheops, El Mirador,
and study a Stonehenge to take us back and beyond.
And, of course, in all these archaeological digs
we scour the sea of stones so the dead can gossip to the living.

Unlike Sisyphus,
desperate for the comfort of limits and endings,
when all his world is anchored in the round of his rolling stone,
we swim in the improbable
unpredictable open ocean of the real,
surprised as much by the brazen spring sun
as by the cold slate-gray of winter
where the sun is a far and scrawny cry
from its hot and bloated summer self.

Again, within the rough margins of every day
and our conscious rendezvous with what is now and then,
what we think is simply what we see:
the early twig and leaf brought back to the nest,
the man in the street with his dog on a leash,
a spider on his own string sailing across the pond,
the siege and swell of blackbirds in the afternoon,
and the common autumn riot of unfettered leaves
racing across streets and barbered lawns.

At day’s end, like Sisyphus,
in the quiet of the still setting sun behind the trees
pressing green and yellow fire against a tapestry of leaves,
our lives are also anchored in the round
as the earth through clouds is at every moment
a moving soliloquy for the moon.

also by R.J. Andres
Two Poems



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Arts & Opinion, a bi-monthly, is archived in the Library and Archives Canada.
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