Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jane Yolen - The Alphabet: A Found Poem

The Alphabet: A Found Poem
by
Jane Yolen

The 24 letters
of the alphabet
may be transposed
620,448,401,733,239,439,360,000
times.
All the inhabitants of the globe
could not
in a thousand million years
write out all the transpositions
of the 24 letters,
even supposing
each wrote 40 pages daily,
each page containing 40 different
transpositions of the letters.

JY notes: My alphabet contains
26 letters.
And I have a computer.
Do you think that changes the game?

Found in: Anecdotes of Books and Authors,
London, Orr and Smith, Paternoster Row, MDCCCXXXVI

© 2011 Jane Yolen. All rights reserved.

Jane Yolen sent me poem choices. Oh, yes she did. I agonized (okay... fine... in a fun way!) before settling on The Alphabet which, I think, is a fitting send off to 30 Poets/30 Days and National Poetry Month. The possibilities of language may not be infinite mathematically... though that's one eyepoppingly big number... yet when you add in meaning and interpretation, I'd make the argument that we'll never run out of stories to tell or poems to write.

I'd also make that argument about Jane Yolen herself. Author over over 300 books (stop for a second and absorb that. 300 books!), she is also an incredible speaker, mentor, blogger, editor, anthologist, and so much more. I am an unabashed fan and, just like last time she came by, I am thrilled to have her here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday ended with Kristine O'Connell George and Daze of the Week. Tomorrow... Kathi Appelt's What Was She Thinking.


4 comments:

tanita davis said...

YES! We'll never run out of stories, and here's to that.

While I know there's no formula to being Jane Yolen -- and should we all want to be Lady Jane? Does the world really need 300 books from each of us?? -- I nevertheless always find myself so in awe of her work ethic and her sense of confidence as a poet and writer, and hope someday she manages to bottle that for the rest of us.

Robyn Hood Black said...

A perfect send-off for Poetry Month, and inspiration for the rest of the year! Thank you, Jane and Greg.

Mary Lee said...

Our Amazing Alphabet!

pathrecords said...

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