Poetry Friday: String Theory

The first Friday of the month means it’s time for another Inkling challenge. It was my turn to pose this month’s prompt, and I chose this “Invitation for Writing and Reflection” from How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope, edited by James Crews. Inspired by Sally Bliumis-Dunn‘s poem, “Work,” Crews asks readers to consider

…a time when you felt so consumed with the act of making something that you lost all sense of time, and your mind seemed to clear? What allowed you to enter this mindful creative space?

As you may know, I have been knitting for many years, but the arrival of grandchildren has kicked my obsession into high gear. While I am knitting, I often run my hand across the fabric that is literally being created in my hands and marvel at how such a transformation is possible. Of course my poem had to be about knitting.

I also happen to love space and astronomy and am intrigued by physic topics I never felt smart enough to study in college. Thanks to Brian Greene and Lisa Randall, I was able to weave together my curiosity about the universe and my passion for knitting to create this poem:

String Theory

Careworn fingers, 
calloused and crooked,
ply needles that vibrate
with quicksilver energy –

slide – wrap – glide –

intertwined geometry.

Gradually, a dancing filament
of yarn is transformed, 
a new dimension created,
bound with invisible strands 
of love and warmth,
connecting hearts.

Draft, © Catherine Flynn, 2023

by Anna Hrachovec – Creator of Mochimochi Land

Please be sure to visit my fellow Inklings to read their responses to this challenge, the head on over to Laura Shovan’s blog for the Poetry Friday Roundup

Heidi Mordhorst @ My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche
Mary Lee Hahn @ A(nother) Year of Reading
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone

21 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: String Theory

  1. I love this poem and how the knitting binds you to loving your grandchildren…that recent photo of H on instag. is like looking at a mini-YOU! I hope she also learns the intertwined geometry of family in the ways you have. What a lucky kid to have you as a Grandma.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness, I love how you have braided these passions together, Catherine! Intertwined geometry indeed…I heard or read somewhere this week how instead of worrying about what to wear or what someone said (or didn’t), Einstein used his brain to imagine the universe. He imagined his theories first, THEN found the math to prove them. Your poem reminds me of that. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On second reading, I find that the word “gradually” may be among the most important in the poem. Big Bang notwithstanding, it is gradually that our intertwined geometry is created. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I, too, love that you’ve made this wonderful connection. One of my creative granddaughters knits, among so many other creativity. I will share that you wrote “invisible strands /of love and warmth,”, Catherine. And, I gave Crews book to several people for Christmas, a gem to have, to re-visit. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your poem has evoked memories of my mother knitting various garments across my childhood, Catherine. Like you, she regularly stroked the knitted fabric as it emerged from the jousting of the knitting needles. As you write in your poem it was with ‘quicksilver energy’ that I observed my machine like motions. Thank you for your poem and the reminder of my past.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. String theory! Intertwined geometry is such a lovely way to refer to knitting – and it truly IS geometry, a magic that I can’t reproduce well on paper, but the “slide-wrap-glide” is a potent, portable mathematical magic. Lovely.


  7. I’m with you, Catherine. Knitting is fascinating. How we take ONE STRING and make socks, sweaters, baby blankets! I read that knitted objects are sometimes used to teach Physics majors about complex forms.


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