Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

I went to a talk by Charles Jencks yesterday, hosted by the Wordsworth Trust as part of their arts and books weekend. He's an architect, but I discovered him through his Garden of Cosmic Speculation, which is a garden inspired by mathematics, science, astronomy.

He was an absolutely wonderful speaker: funny, current, sharp and extremely stimulating.

When I say I discovered him through the garden, I should say I discovered the garden through a book. I haven't yet been to the garden. It's only open for half a day a year. I have the date in my diary for this year. And will make sure I spend as long as possible there.

It touches on so many themes that I'm finding myself increasingly interested in: macrocosms and microcosms, wave patterns, and man's ambigious relationship with nature: being both connected to and disconnected from it - in almost all we do. To experience those ideas in a consciously physical way, to walk through the manifestation of someone else's interpretation of the universe, is an opportunity to untangle some of my own thinking; to experience my half-baked ideas, and other theories in a visceral sense, absorb them through my pores. This is always my favourite way of experience, hence the sailing.

How much can poetry do this? I constantly aim for visceral language, but language by its essence forces a basic separation from physical to intellectual.

It's one of the reasons why I enjoy ee cummings - he presents emotional realities by bypassing the intellectual interpretation. He manages to set words down so they communicate emotionally and short-circuit analysis. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post! This garden is amazing... I found great pictures of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Art Days, here is the link! Enjoy! :)