Monday, December 16, 2013

Ah, Happy Littleness

“Ah, happy littleness! that art thus blest, That greatest glories aspire to seem least. Even those installed in a higher sphere, The higher they are raised, the less appear, And in their exaltation emulate Thy humble grandeur and thy modest state.”
~Richard Leigh (1649-1728) was a late and rather minor metaphysical poet who poses the question memorably in the beautiful Greatness in Little

More than most of us, poets seem drawn to the very small, and to perceive within minute worlds still smaller worlds. Conceived as fractals in Mandelbrot’s sense, Blake’s grains of sand display levels of self-similarity. The conceit has a playful appeal, like matryoshka dolls, and suggests the existence of a busily mysterious universe. It leaves unresolved the question of where on the scale of worlds we humans dwell. How small are we, and how big?  Grains of High Tatra Rocks