Illustrations by Children: Rosanne Money Reads Lisel Mueller’s Subtle Poem About Growing Out of Our Restricting Contexts

Illustrations by Children: Rosanne Money Reads Lisel Mueller’s Subtle Poem About Growing Out of Our Restricting Contexts

Drawings by Children: Rosanne Cash Reads Lisel Mueller’s Subtle Poem About Growing Out of Our Limiting Frames of Reference

We parse and move through truth as multidimensional creatures in a multidimensional world. We are likewise quite restricted by our embodied frame of reference– our experience as three-dimensional animals in a perceptually three-dimensional world with other spatialities on scales we can’t pick up has always unmoored our common-sense understanding from the basics of reality; it is why the concept of a spherical world that turns underneath our grounded feet as it hurtles around the Sun at more than 100 kilometers per hour was so questionable for so long, why Einstein’s principle of spacetime was so extreme and advanced, and why we find mathematical items like Möbius strips and Klein bottles so delightfully disorienting.

In the final stretch of the 19 th century, an English theologian with a mathematical bend named Edwin Abbott composed the fantastic allegorical novella Flatland: A Love of Lots Of Measurements— the very first time the science of dimensions was talked about in popular literature, folded into a smart social satire about how much our cultural frames of reference, around gender and class and other normative lines, limit our clear view of truth and limit us as totally conscious, capable agents in that truth.

Almost a century after Abbott, the poet Lisel Mueller(February 8, 1924– February 21, 2020)– another deep seer and scrumptiously original mind, who lived nearly a century– used up the topic with excellent subtlety and beauty of insight in her poem “Drawings by Children,” discovered in her completely miraculous Pulitzer-winning collection Alive Together( town library), which also provided us Mueller’s lyrical knowledge on what offers implying to our ephemeral lives

One of the drawings Darwin’s kids left in the manuscript of On the Origin of Types

At the 2020 Universe in Verse— the yearly charitable event of the science of reality through poetry– Grammy-winning artist and poetic songwriter Rosanne Money brought Mueller’s “Drawings by Kid” to soulful life, accompanied by one of her own children, Jakob Leventhal— a terrific young musician himself, quarantined house from college.

by Lisel Mueller


The sun may show up or not
( it might lag you,
the viewer of these photos)
however the sky is constantly blue
if it is day.
If not,
the stars come practically within your grasp;-LRB-
uneven, they connect to you,
on the verge of falling.
It is never ever sunrise or sunset;-LRB-
there is no bloody eye
spying on you across the horizon.
It is plainly day or night,
it is brilliant or completely dark,
it is here and never there.


In the beginning, you just required
your head, a moon swimming in area,
and four bare branches;-LRB-
and when your body was included,
it was light and thin initially,
not yet the dark chapel
from which, later on, you attempted to get away.
You resided in a non-Newtonian world,
your arms grew up from your shoulders,
your feet did not touch the ground,
your hair was streaming,
you were still flying.


Your house is smaller than you kept in mind,
it has windows however no door.
A chimney rests on the gable roofing,
a curl of smoke assures you.
However your home has just 2 dimensions,
like a mash without its face;-LRB-
individuals who live there stand outside
as though time were always summertime–
there is nothing behind the wall
other than an area where the wind whistles,
however you can not see that.

For other highlights from the 2020 Universe in Verse, savor astronaut Leland Melvin reading Pablo Neruda’s love letter to the forest, astrophysicist Janna Levin reading ” Remedies to Worry of Death” by the late, great astronomer and poet Rebecca Elson, Amanda Palmer reading ” Einstein’s Mother” by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, artist Ohara Hale’s lyrical watercolor adaptation of Mojave American poet Natalie Diaz’s ode to brokenness as a website to belonging and strength, and Marie Howe’s poem “Singularity”– a dimensional meditation on our cosmic belonging and the significance of house, motivated by Stephen Hawking– in a sensational animated short movie, then revisit the charming illustrations Darwin’s children left all over the manuscript of their dad’s epoch-making book and Rosanne Cash reading Adrienne Rich’s tribute to Marie Curie and the significance of power, with a poignant personal reflection on the wellspring of imaginative might and how science saved her life, from the inaugural Universe in Verse in2017


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