This poem is called "crystal structure analysis" and I wrote it September 2021.
Line by line, I'll discuss the choices I made:
- It starts "and so" because I knew I wasn't telling a story so I couldn't manage to give it a proper beginning and end. I was trying to say something true about the nature of things that has always been. "And so" is meant to give the impression that you already knew this, it was already here.
- A gleaming shape is the crystal mentioned in the title but not in the body, and that's because I'm only wanting you to see the shadow of a crystal. It is not about a crystal, but how one is formed "from a set of rules," these being the laws of nature.
- These same laws that form beautiful things also form disastrous things. This is like good and evil always in a match, fated to be in conflict.
- "the story" is the human part of this process. We put a story onto things that happen, onto crystals that form. We put a value to the size, color, shape, luster, strength of all that the earth produces. Without our story, these things would still happen. I was told a story, and this is me trying to get outside of it, make sense of its structure to see how well it fits over reality.
- "what isn't molten into what is" so if you're still with me, we're imagining a terrifying match of fates in which earth or nature will collide endlessly and out of it will come something of worth, there was nothing, then there was something, and that's always happening. Plus that line just sounds cool.
- The stories we tell cannot help but credit divinity for the creation which we see around us. Transfiguration makes something more beautiful in the process. "Schema" could have been "protocol" but the sound of schema is better. And myth is involved in who we become by the stories we tell. This is what I'm trying to get at, but could have done a better job expanding this part. This set of lines is including words that invoke vague ideas. A friend who read this poem said that she appreciated that she could draw the lines herself, therefore give it her own meaning. That may be a strength this poem has, but probably not for the average person who maybe does not regularly consume poetry.
- "and so" again. No beginning, no intro, just a set of observations. "And so" the nature of things, "and so" what do I do about it.
- "I face myself". I hope that this line holds a weight, or has some gravity to it. It is the first mention of "I", late in the poem on purpose, because I am not the focus. It's This is how I find things to be, a conflict that has been interpreted as divine through stories I've been told. Breaking the rock is reference to Moses. Eating the fruit is reference to Adam. The stories I was told came from the Bible, and this was the basis of my understanding of life growing up. Moses is tested by God, and fails. He breaks the rock. Adam was supposed to respect the rules, he doesn't, he indulges. I am identifying with these stories in a way I never had before, seeing that they have something to do with me. The life I am promised is one where I continually face myself, when I've failed, when I have work to do. Just as it was, so it is. I am seeing truth in the story I was told. I am seeing myself in these biblical figures.
So I'm realizing this poem is difficult to follow, because it is even for me. I won't touch it anymore, however. I won't edit it further. I guess because I received it, and it's pure this way.