[from Marianne Boruch's essay "Heavy Lifting," featured this week by Poetry Daily and published in The American Poetry Review, September/October 2006]
Leonardo's notion that "the heaviest part will become the guide of the movement" . . . we feel for that weight as we write . . . After all, gravity is one of the three basic forces on earch, earth itself its center because . . . "the more mass a body has—the more particles of matter it contains—the stronger its aggregate attractive force would be. That's why," [chemist Robert Wolke] points out, "when you jump off a ladder, earth doesn't fall upward to meet you." This is maybe the best argument I've seen for work whose center of gravity, its focus, is the world and not the self. We know that ladder, after all. We've fallen off many a time. Because it's the mysterious huge other out there that pulls us to itself.