5: five sonnets

When I found on Sep 8, 2008, Jung had lived 5 times 6272 days (and 4 hours to be precise), I was immediately struck because I already knew this number 6272, but it took me more than a year to realize how much it was fitting the case.
I always had a deep relation with numbers, but left it aside until 1985 when I started a personal research upon Hebrew kabbala. A ten-year study made me feel the results I found were not bound to a single tradition, and that similar results should be found inside profane texts.
So I had to find a well-known profane text. It had to be short, and to contain a symbolical schematism. The first one I thought of was the sonnet Voyelles by Rimbaud (Vowels), but the tools I developed in my research didn't reveal there any pattern.
Then I remembered Georges Perec wrote a whole novel without using the vowel E, the most current letter in French, and he gave in that novel a version of Voyelles without any E, Vocalisations. So I put the text in my computer and there was an immediate result. The sonnet has 4 stanzas, 14 lines, 112 words, and its total value, according to the ranks of letters in the alphabet, is 6272 = 4 x 14 x 112.
Here I do not ask anyone to consider this as a real important fact, I only ask to accept it was important to me, although I can sense it can look quite silly to pay so much attention to a poem Perec wrote very fast, unconscious of its secret harmony.
I was so impressed by this poem that its study made me write a booklet I printed myself in 50 exemplaries, in March 1997. Three were given to public libraries.
In 1999 I was offered to publish a novel, by someone who read that booklet. I couldn't find any plot introducing Perec's sonnet, but it was such an obsession that, after having no code in the Spanish translationwritten the novel, I noticed it was 14 chapters long and I felt a strong need to encode a line of the sonnet in each chapter. With my publisher's agreement, this was done by printing some letters a bit bigger than the others. It was quite hard to detect, but at least one reader noticed it, deciphered the whole poem, and wrote it to me.
My obsession made me regret Perec's poem was not as perfect as it could be, and I thought several times of writing an anagram of it, with each line counting 8 words and the gematria 448 (8 x 56). I did it on Dec 8, 2006, using an online tool a friend just achieved, the Gematron.
I was not the first one to write an anagram of Perec's sonnet, there already had been three attempts, in English/American! This because in A void, English translation of La Disparition by British writer Ronald Adair, Vocalisations staid untranslated, as Rimbaud's poem is well-known in England.
There was a kind of challenge then, and in April 2001 three authors published their anagrams/translations on the web forum Anagrammy Awards. Unfortunately, if these anagrams were perfect, they were based on a wrong text with 4 letters missing, so each anagram had too 4 letters missing. This was partly corrected in May 2006, but a letter still remained forgotten, an S.
Anyhow, in the intention, there are four anagrams of Perec's sonnet. I wonder if any other poem had such a fate, the only other examples I couldn't find on the web are on the Anagrammy site, but Vocalisations seems to be the unique case of a poem anagrammed in several languages by several people.

If there had been no mistake, and I do not doubt the other authors would correct their mistakes if they were aware of them, there would be five sets of the same 497 letters giving the gematria 6272. I wrote the final one on Dec 8, 2006, conscious of this number 6272, and exactly 21 months later I discovered Jung's life followed a quite alike schematic pattern: 4 times 6272 days before 4/4/44, 6272 days after.
I do not ask anyone to share my feeling about the oddness of Perec's sonnet. By the way it might be a symptom of my most extreme insanity, but it must be admitted that I have a long-time obsession about that poem, about number 6272, and about Jungian pattern 4-1. The more it seems a strange attitude, the more it's astonishing I discovered this number 6272 in the striking pattern of Jung's life.

Of course I do not consider myself as insane, but the point is secondary in this post, where I stick to things that can be easily checked up.
Another striking point is Rimbaud's poem was about 5 vowels, with clearly a quintessential O, and it was the reason for my first thought about it. In Perec's version, as well as in its 4 imitations, the vowels are reduced to 4, so the missing one E becomes in a way the prominent one and the main purpose of the poem.
In Rimbaud's opening line, "A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue:", Perec replaced the forbidden E by an allusion to its lack. So did the English translaters, but my additional constraint to have 8 words in each line forbade me any word beyond the 4 vowels and their color correspondances. There was just nothing in the first version I posted on a forum on 8/12/06. My only change then was to add "...," between A and I.

So here are the 5 sets of 497 letters.
A funny thing is that in the special category of Apr 2001 Awards, where are mentioned the anagrams of Vocalisations, the first prize was attributed to a mister Young.
Another point is that the three English anagrams follow different patterns:
– in the first one the text is treated as a whole block (1)
– the second one is an anagram verse by verse (4)
– the third one is an anagram line by line (14)
– one of my aims was to keep the number of words (112)
So the conjonction of these 4 approaches gives again the magic relation
1 x 4 x 14 x 112 = 6272
which was why I was fascinated by this sonnet.

So here is the original by Perec, in 497 letters :
A noir, (Un blanc), I roux, U safran, O azur:
Nous saurons au jour dit ta vocalisation:
A, noir carcan poilu d'un scintillant morpion
Qui bombinait autour d'un nidoral impur,

Caps obscurs; qui, cristal du brouillard ou du Khan,
Harpons du fjord hautain, Rois Blancs, frissons d'anis?
I, carmins, sang vomi, riant ainsi qu'un lis
Dans un courroux ou dans un alcool mortifiant;

U, scintillations, ronds divins du flot marin,
Paix du pâtis tissu d'animaux, paix du fin
Sillon qu'un fol savoir aux grands fronts imprima;

O, finitif clairon aux accords d'aiguisoir,
Soupirs ahurissant Nadir ou Nirvâna:
O l'omicron, rayon violin dans son Voir!

I underlined the letter still forgotten on Anagrammy, and I allow myself to correct the anagrams given there, which had only 496 letters. This was easily done as the missing letter is an 's'.
Version I by Mike Keith (UK):
A void, (missing vocalic), I pain-color, U rococo, O plaid:
All adjoin in a rich Latin unit, a curious mix of sound:
"A": a noxious squid, that squirms in sun on toxic ground,
Scurrilous and full of animal vapors bad,

In ruin hid. Did Attila's raucous invasions
Ruin a sumptuous land for us, O Russian cur?
"I": in crimson blood, spit on fox's fur,
In anxious fits of liquor-drunk libations;

"U": auras, vibrations, in murmurs of an Asian rain,
Unicorns and carnival animals born on a Druid plain,
To rush in unison around Uranus;

"O": broad as God's Last Trump. Mind sprain,
Quiz, paradox's crux (incur Joy or Pain?),
Rotund Initial, Last Avatar, Final Curtain.

Version II by Richard Brodie (USA):
A coal, (albino), I blood, U fruit pulp, O rain vapor:
In an anxious, murmurous conjunction:
"A", quaint rancid ruinous irritation,
A monstrous, unusual bat-lizard draconian,

Ruin is afar, fools! Squadrons run, injuring Huns asthmatic;
Arran sons sound dolorous trolls in Rubicon bivouacs.
"I": chuck sputum on an African addax,
An insalubrious sordid liquid plasmatic;

"U": quixotic mind-visits of a non-spiritual Frisian,
Fox, gnus, maladroit ox, marsupials, simians,
Influx trods up and up, and land turns livid;

"O": intoxication of a savior's original sounds,
Lo, airs rich in a vivid dulciana!
Incur sin, or ruin; or rosy panoramas found.

Version III by Richard Grantham (UK):
A flax, (an aura), I burn, U zircon, or O sun:
O, I act out various unsaid natal sojourns:
A, minor pallid scorpion in a nocturnal tunic
Murmur about, bound to air in liquid pain,

Toadish quicksand; clouds' usual rubric or burlap,
Proud fronds in Nordic ash, albino rajahs, satin's fuss?
An I, a crimson squirt, us smiling in vain - a
Torn, not unusual mix of dolour, sin and curaçao;

U rolls on 'midst inconstant viridian fluids
- Pupa, six Indian addax - I, Faustus, mix it up
In matrix of squid's ova; furls run along Roman lips;

O is a final caustic air, crux of id or indigo,
Arid spans in air haunt Sun or Saviour:
O rolls, vivid maroon canyons in Orion!

Version IV by me (France):
a noir, …, i quinquinas, u troublant, o violin,
an du jour disparu, surtout pas par hasard.
haut a, noir pavillon, ficin pour maints anars,
rajas sans contrition au soir du grand matin,

but tabou; agoni dans son brouillard aux mains,
un parti dort, cristal, la croix du maquisard;
i roux, fiction sans gond, rubicond si soiffard,
pis d'indivis frimas, nid aux hiboux mutins;

u zut, ufo, divin rapport, nul fric crural
qu'un canif (son crayon, art commis convivial)
n'a conclu, nul lin rilsan, coincoins, dînaillons;

o maximum, sillons du saindoux ou du dior,
la raison à valoir où nous aussi saurons
au knossos infini franchir son portail d'or !

There would be many comments to add, concerning all these poems. For the moment I'll just point to what striked me just after I discovered the pattern of 6272 days in Jung's life: in my last line I mentioned Knossos, and Knossos, among other details, appears in the two novels I studied before my finding.

The historiated initials shown before are taken from Jung's Red Book, a manuscript he calligraphied and painted from 1914 to 1930. He never wanted to finish it, although it seems it was finished in his head and he just had to add a few words and some paintings.
An example of this is on page 187 where he didn't paint the initial of "Als alles in mir vollendet war..."
Unexpectedly, this uncompletion means
When everything was completed in me, I unexpectedly returned to the mysteries, to that first sight of the otherworldly powers of the spirit and desire.

And now here is my sonnet analyzed by the Gematron, with each line equating to 448.

a1 noir56, , i9 quinquinas142, u21 troublant123, o15 violin81, [448]
an15 du25 jour64 disparu88, surtout134 pas36 par35 hasard51. [448]
haut50 a1, noir56 pavillon101, ficin41 pour70 maints76 anars53, [448]
rajas49 sans53 contrition137 au22 soir61 du25 grand44 matin57, [448]

but43 tabou59; agoni46 dans38 son48 brouillard112 aux46 mains56, [448]
un35 parti64 dort[2396]57, cristal82, la13 croix69 du25 maquisard103; [448]
i9 roux78, fiction76 sans53 gond40, rubicond86 si28 soiffard78, [448]
pis44 d4'indivis86 frimas66, nid27 aux46 hiboux79 mutins96; [448]

u21 zut67, ufo42, divin58 rapport[3876]104, nul47 fric36 crural73 [448]
qu38'un35 canif33 (son48 crayon76, art39 commis72 convivial107) [448]
n14'a1 conclu68, nul47 lin35 rilsan73, coincoins101, dînaillons109; [448]

o15 maximum94, sillons100 du25 saindoux107 ou36 du25 dior46, [448]
la13 raison76 à1 valoir77 où36 nous69 aussi69 saurons107 [448]
au22 knossos112 infini61 franchir77 son48 portail91 d4'or33 ! [448]

[Ce texte de 497 lettres a une somme gématrique de 6272.]
[This text of 497 letters has a gematric sum of 6272.]


  1. Fascinating work. I'd like to say thank you for posting it, but it seems this may be unnecessary as obviously your passion comes through. Thanks anyway!