Escher’s Mirror Sphere

Not just a reflected room, deepening
to distance, but one that bends differently,
its static space-time only moving relatively
if the hand moves the sphere. But the sphere
does not move because viewed through
the mirror glass of the screen which frames
the picture and holds the hand still and fixed
in its own world, itself a mirrored image outside
the mirror of the sphere where the hand bends
grotesquely around its inner edge as if in that world
hands were shaped differently. But the face staring
back in grim astonishment must also see a hand
gripping the sphere inside and out. Whose hand?


Escher’s image, which is copyright, can be viewed at:

3 thoughts on “Escher’s Mirror Sphere

  1. Whose hand, indeed!

    This new strain of subjects is bold, it’s fun for a reader somewhat familiar with your past works to watch you spin wholly new strings unexplored previously.

    Some short time ago your indomitable soul-work coaxed me to look up Welsh influenced poetry, and I stumbled upon ‘crow goes hunting’ by Ted Hughes. I’m sure you’re well acquainted with both the poet and the poem, but have patience enough with me to link it ->

    It is spellbinding, and thrilling to know that I know you, whose talent is of the same caliber.
    I have one trouble though: I hope you will continue to also put out you thoughts and research on Celtic myths and legends. Everything that I’ve said about your poetry is how I really feel, but your speculative work is equally indispensable. Best regards!

    1. Yes I’m well acquainted with Hughes and his ground-breaking CROW collection. Your comment sent me to my copy of the book which I haven’t looked at for a while. I presume your identification of Welsh influence is to the story of Ceridwen and Gwion Bach and the shape-changing chase episode which Hughes uses imaginatively in that poem. I don’t know if that was his source as the motif occurs elsewhere in folktale narratives and Hughes studied Anthropology at Cambridge. But it could well have been from the Taliesin tale that he got it.

      I wouldn’t put myself in his league as a poet, but your comparison is appreciated. The Mirror theme has a way to go yet, I think, but no doubt I’ll return to other concerns as the awen inspires me.

      1. Evidently Hughes was very interested in Welsh mythology during his time at Cambridge. I first heard of him during my search from a YouTube video from a professor who has a special interest in his work and points to library sources showing he checked books on many Mabinogion tales and the Hanes Taliesin. It just interested me to see what more modern poetry inspired by the Welsh was out there.

What do you think?