The Physical Meaning Of Geometrical Propositions

You remember - perhaps more than love –
the staircase of uncounted hours,

conscientious reason, past disdain
of feeling. Geometry sets out

simple propositions, axioms: We
follow those axioms, derived, reduced

to the last question, unanswerable
by the methods of geometry. We

cannot ask. We can only say that
geometry deals with two, tally

assertions, the word ‘true’, the habit
of correspondence, connection. We are

the geometry of bodies, a physics -
in terms of rule and compass - incomplete.


  1. This is erasure poetry, based on effacing text from another source, to unearth a hidden poem.

    Original source - Chapter 1 of 'Relativity: The Special and General Theory' (1916, revised 1924) by Albert Einstein.

    Short link -

  2. I've never been one for mathe, but you have a way of making it poetically appealing!

    1. the staircase of uncounted a cool opening and plays well with the unanswerable question....i like the play with maths as well...we are the geometries of bodies...ha, i do like blend man..

    2. I think I'm going to do the rest of Einstein's work, one sonnet per chapter. It's fascinating.

  3. Anonymous7:40:00 PM

    you have unearthed a raw and rare gem here, Samuel. Relativity has never before seemed so vulnerable.

  4. ...who would have thought? As powerful as the concept of relativity itself ;)

  5. Einstein's poetry -- gorgeous.

  6. Math is music, of course it works!

  7. Elegant, insightful, and gorgeous. I love it but that will likely not surprise you. I think Erasure Poetry, you, and Einstein were made for each other!

  8. Is this poem truly the result of choice within a limited set? It seems too focused and clear--you can tell that I am having a devil of a time with the challenge. But this is great. I especially love the incomplete geometry of bodies and imagine it on the uncounted stairs.

    1. It is.

      I have a methodical approach - I use two columns, on the left the original Einstein text, on the right my choice of words extracted from the text. They are even in the same order from the original, not jumbled up.

      For me, the challenge was to extract something emotional from a text that is, otherwise, analytical.

      It's not quite perfect, the word 'geometry' comes up too many times for my liking, but it's tough to get other words from the text to mean something in my context!

  9. Brilliant. It pulls on deep emotions that I always think lie hidden in mathematics and physics. Although pure science and math seek to produce truth, you as a scientist and an artist know that there is a place of convergence in both that seeks transcendence. It's what made Einstein great, and you as well.

  10. Anonymous1:15:00 AM

    Very well done, Sam. And the choice of text is its own layer. k.

  11. sam...i could only think of two people that would take einstein as a source for erasure poetry...that's you and it

  12. I loved how you made Geometry romantic! And I can feel the romance all in this poem, very well done.

  13. strong write Sam. amazing line choices. You truly created a piece your own here. The math choices in particular are woven in here so perfectly one never gets the feel that they're actually reading them, so cohesive. Great read. Thanks

  14. Often these erasure poems look contrived, but this is so natural, flowing, and beautiful. Very well done!

  15. This is a powerful piece, Sam. Fantastic work. Here are some of my favorites:

    "the staircase of uncounted hours" They do blur.

    follow those axioms, derived, reduced" I really like your line breaks.

    "the word ‘true’, the habit"

    "the geometry of bodies, a physics -
    in terms of rule and compass - incomplete"

    You consistently impress me.


  16. Cannot believe this was an erasure exercise. It sings in a surprising way, turning math and science into music and art. Then again, perhaps math and science ARE music and art.

  17. Great take on Einstein; relativity speaking “poetry is where truth lies”

  18. This is brilliant! So poetry exist everywhere.....

  19. Fascinating. Certainly more approachable than the original.


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