D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

Poetic Analytics 1


                                                  


                               A Canadian with American French fries of Chinese characteristics



      Poetic Analytics of Imagery through Streams of 
                    Consciousness and Unconsciousness



The idea for 山上山 (pronounced Shānshàngshān) originated from what appeared to be a typical eye chart. It was displayed on the wall of a university classroom. The poet invigilated an English exam for Chinese students who were studying a foreign language. While they were busy he decided to test himself as if he were a student by looking at the eye chart on the wall. However, he was not testing his English. He was looking for a pattern in the eye chart which seemed to be an improbable probability. It would allow him to know the last line without cheating through memorization. In fifteen minutes, he had passed the first part of the test.

The poet writes this paper for himself. For that reason he chooses not to use a conventional style of writing an English essay which would require a focus statement in the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. His understanding of the English essay was developed in his textbook called Scientific Writing which was used at the Graduate School. On the surface, this essay might resemble a Chinese style essay which concentrates on the final arguments. Overall, however, the essay develops a unique theme of literary criticism which the poet terms “poetic analytics of imagery through streams of consciousness and unconsciousness”.  

The fact that the poet could predict the last line of the eye chart meant that there was a pattern and it was not random. The implication of this observation is that it was scientifically useless as a method to test eyes. Theoretically speaking, one could predict the thirteenth line which isn’t even there. It is not the purpose of this analysis to speculate on the reasons why the original eye chart was created. The wall eye chart is becoming an anachronism. That issue won't be relevant once the wall chart is transformed by the poet.

To begin with, it teaches him that a shortcut is feasible, but shortsighted.  How does it help the individual to be able to cheat on the eye test in a less time consuming and easier way than memorization?  In fact, it may hurt the individual if it were applied in some contexts. 

It will be shown how it is easy to be able to predict the last line. However, it is not desirable. It could be done, but it should not be done. Eyesight may vary from individual to individual. There is no “one size fits all. Everyone cannot or should not pass the eye test or for that matter any other test. The eye test must correctly test eyes and there are eye charts and methods that will serve that purpose. In fact, in recent years science has developed a machine that automatically optically measures eyesight.  

It is clear the “E” eye chart must be transformed. This process begins by changing a uniform symbol which resembles an English letter into a Chinese character (word). These characters may be read down by the eyes. They are tread upward through the body of the climber. The rote pattern, too, must be viewed dynamically so that the poet may choose from a variety of patterns or see them simultaneously.  His creative imagination should allow him to draw from or be receptive to any number of sources for inspiration. He must be attune to the tone of the kung. The poet may seek a guide, but ultimately he journeys alone.  He seeks to complete himself by uniting with the fish-face archetype.

The standard eye chart is filled with many of the same symbols in different sizes which have directional orientations. They are easy to identify and describe. They appear to be versions of the uppercase letter “E” as in English.

However, this is not the case. They are scientifically designed symbols which are computer generated so that they can be readily distinguished at a distance by the eye. These symbols have three equal pointers. They are calibrated such that they may be differentiated from one another regardless of their size. The spacing between symbols is also measured exactly.

The “E” chart is used in China. It is also known as “a tumbling E chart. Rows of "E's" are used in various kinds of rotation. The Chinese have not had an eye chart in their native language. 

The poet was wondering if there was a better method to test his own eyesight while in China than by using an eye chart whose symbol resembled the English uppercase letter “E”. He would want an eye chart which would use a Chinese character. If he were Chinese then it would be more culturally acceptable to him to be tested with a familiar character. He went through a Chinese dictionary and examined all the single characters. He hoped to find one which would point.

The poet settled on the 山 character which differs considerably from an uppercase letter “E”. In a sense, it is the reverse. The middle line of the character points much better because it is longer. It literally points. However, the poet modified the character so that the two outside pointers were longer than those of the traditional character. Furthermore, the base line is more solid looking. It is - like, but not . It is therefore a unique symbol. It is his own.

 

                        


                                              
                                               上
                                               山



The Chinese  (pronounced shan) can be expressed by holding up the three middle fingers of the hand. With respect to time of origin, the real fingers most assuredly came before the abstract characters and the mountain came before the fingers. If one wishes to know what came before the mountain then one will have to ask the mountain. In addition, if the poet were Chinese then he would appreciate that the Chinese symbol can convey the meaning of the whole chart which resembles a mountain or the three fingers of my Chinese hand.  

As a student, I was taught to simplify and go back to the basics. One must begin by reviewing what one knows and then proceed to the unknown. In terms of the eye chart on the wall the poet sees four ways for eyesight to be examined. There is the conventional, unconventional, mechanical and random.

The conventional way is to be asked to read left to right as in English. If one reads an English novel, for example, one begins at the left margin. This method is also employed by the examiner to test our eyes on an eye chart. There must be no predictable pattern.

The unconventional way for an English reader is to read from right to left. This method is employed in Arabic. It is not used in an eye chart anywhere except perhaps by an examiner who wishes in some instances to prevent memorization of the lines by those examined.

The mechanical or rote way of reading is back and forth. It seems to imply an almost continuous reading without pause. It would go from left to right, then drop down and then go from right to left. This method seems more attuned to a mechanical loom or printer which copies patterns. This non-random route is touted as rote-read.

The final method is random. This method is common as it resembles the process of scanning for what is important in speed reading. Single characters are picked out here and there. It curtails memorization. However, it has one weakness. One in four guesses will be correct.

The poet decided to develop his own eye chart. He returned to an early Chinese ideographic image which is still used today. He substituted his own modified symbol of the ideogram. The result was that in 2007, the poet and China had its first Chinese eye chart. It is read in a special way. The modified 山 character points to a greater degree than its scientific counterpart and is interpreted differently. It is imitated by the index finger which represents the longest line of the 山 character. When reading the written eye chart the poet uses his right-hand’s index finger to point up. The nail of the finger faces toward him. It points left by facing away from him (ie. the inside of the finger). In order to point down the left hand is used. It rotates toward him and the nail of the index finger faces towards him. When the left index finger points down then the inside of the finger is toward him. A kind of balance is achieved between hands and index fingers and the . One doesn’t, however, speak directions (except to oneself). Simply point. It should be noted though that in an historical context the mountain ideogram was associated with vocal speech along with the actual set of three mountains.

                         
                       
                   Total Lunar Eclipse.September 27-28 2015

On the eighth and final Total Lunar Eclipse of two sets of Tetrads on September 28, 2015 or the anniversary of Kongzi’s birth, the poet began to view his old poem differently. It seemed to vary before his very eyes. Images of Banpo pottery of Yangshao culture of 5700 to 6300 years ago of the Neolithic era appeared to him. There was that curious circular fish-face (renmianyu). The near circle seemed to be a precursor of the circular yin-yang symbol much later in time. The renmianyu also had horizontal lines for eyes. These were transformed into dots on the yin-yan symbol. In addition, its mouth seemed as a triangle pointing down at the peak of another triangle; or small mountain pointing downward to the peak of another small mountain; or as an “x”. Triangular black and white fins framed the face. On its head was a triangular crown.

It appeared appropriate to the poet in 2015 that the yin-yang symbol was metamorphosing with the help of the renmianyu to form an image composed of lines. Two fin triangles of the renmianyu were modified and changed into the black and white triangles of a rectangle replacing the circular yin-yan. One rectangle became five. The dot eyes of the two fish of the yin-yang were transferred and transformed by the catalytic properties of the renmianyu into characters of line 3 and then increased on a downword read and decreased on an upward tread. The mouth transformed into an imaginary “x” linking line 2 of the isosceles and line 3 and then another “x” below linking line three and line four. The crown triangle of the renmianyu became an isosceles at the top whose first character is a pointing upward. 

The poet hears himself questioning the probability of these changes -- nay, even their possibility. The transformation from fish-face to yin-yang symbol took thousands of years. Furthermore, thousands of years have passed and essentially the yin-yang symbol remains the same. Maybe, it is the right time and circumstances for change which could be sensed by a sensitive poet, artist, photographer or sculptor etc.


                          

                   Original Poem which transformed into Abraxas

The poet has only to look at his own poem informally called Abraxas. It took millions of years of evolution to go from the fish to the amphibian frog. It took millennia of evolution to develop the unpublished poem of the poet which would be the precursor to Abraxas. Notice, how this poem is composed entirely of straight lines while Abraxas has curved lines. Then, it took several months for it to undergo the transformation through a process of deconstruction, modification and reassembly to create the fish-frog, frog-fish image of Abraxas.


                                 


                                       


Abraxas may be the first image poem that has an image title of words as a poem. The poem of “imagined imaged” words in its title comes from the poem without words.





                                   
                                    过
                                    山




The new poem of September 2015 was called  山过山. It was to be read and tread very differently and in many ways. It wasn’t one index finger on both hands pointing to the four directions. It was now three fingers on each hand pointing to the four directions. The three fingers represented the three mountains which were read about, written about and vocally spoken of through the .

The process marked the birth of a new poem from an old one eight years ago and the birth of a new Fu Shan from an old one 5000 years ago. It was 5000 years ago that a fish-face image may have been carved on the side of Fu Shan. Erosion though has taken its toll. This was the location where the various tribes had been united by Huangdi. It was natural therefore that a carved image might have united the fish and crocodile into a traditional fish-face. There may have been other images, too, such as the the monkey to the left of the fish-face.

However,Yangshao culture is known primarily around the Xian region. While this is factual; nevertheless, evidence of Yangshao culture has also been found in other regions including Hebei Province. This should not be surprising because the Yellow River has shifted in position over time due to erosion and has been near Fu Shan a number of times. Yangshao pottery was discovered just five kilometers east of Fu Shan at the Gold Jiafen site.  

The fish-face image was almost overlooked by him. He had downloaded many colored, amateur pictures of the mountain. There was one-last photo. It was black-white. He wasn’t looking for an old-fashioned black-white photo of many years ago, but there it was. In that photo, he had caught sight of the elusive fish-face. 

The poet was intrigued by the pattern of the wall chart. He wanted to explore it. His immediate goal was to be able to see with insight the twelfth line at a distance of 20 feet. It was to be done without his glasses which were necessary to compensate for his nearsightedness probably caused by too many books. The awareness of the image may be similar to what a master stone sculptor must experience. He realizes it is already in the stone and his art is to bring it out. The poet had to become aware of the arithmetic, geometric and philosophic pattern throughout “heart and thought chart” to bring them out so that they could be transformed. He uses a literary theme which he terms “poetic analytics of imagery through streams of consciousness and unconsciousness". 





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