Stephanie Strickland’s WaveSon.nets 1

If you understand virginity,
you understand abstraction, you understand V–
V which is flight, and you understand VVV,
i.e., ric-rac, the earliest recorded

symbolic motif, Cassiopeian breasts pouring forth
a Milky Way, a.k.a. zigzag,
world-over water, meander, serpentine
cupmark U adjoining its inverse, upsidedown

U (please imagine), yourself
optimizing, as you do not lift but leave
your point (become pointed) pressed hard
to bone to pull that bone

writhing on your point, twist it one way,
then the other–a rhythm method making
your water mark.

*** 44

tracery of frost on glass.
section of such blown up–equally
exquisite, detailed, ever, over and over, a never

never decaying, never
the same pattern–recognizable at once.

Begin with a closed interval, include ends,
take out the middle: on the seperated them, do
again, again…creating, or leaving, a structure more and more
open, of sparkling points.

Indra’s Net? Cantor dust.
Do there exist beings where all take each other
into account, in their very core?


These poems come from Stephanie Strickland’s book V (Penguin, 2002). Strickland (with digital artist Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo) also devised a digital version of these poems, which is truly remarkable. Below are some screen shots. I encourage you to expore the website here.

If you consult your “13 Ways of Looking at a Poem” handout while reading these poems — pay close attention to the following issues: what kind of information is embedded in the title?  Think about sound (particularly in sonnet 1) and diction and repetition (particularly in sonnet 44).  Also, in terms of literary tradition, think about how Strickland is using and adapting the received form of the sonnet.  Finally, how is the visual presentation of the text important in the digital versions?

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