About “Misproportioned”

Every once in a while you have to write a sad little poem, a poem that, if it were matched with a day of the week, would naturally pair up with Monday. “Misproportioned” is a Monday poem.

As far as inspiration, I remember watching a documentary about furniture in which Shaker chairs were discussed. The narrator indicated that every piece of Shaker furniture, though it seemed so perfect in execution, was always deliberately flawed in some manner as a gesture honoring the belief that only God could make something perfect. A little bit of research has indicated that either this documentary or my memory is flawed, as it seems no such Shaker method is widely documented. Similar ideas, such as the Persian flaw, the humble square, and wabi-sabi, do appear to have more merit.

The black and white, misshapenly beautiful, clearly-not-a-Monday rock that Andy captured in Hawaii felt like a good geometrical companion for the poem. Here’s his photobiography:

During a vacation to Hawaii a few years back, my wife and I decided to take a day trip to the island of Lanai. During the excursion, we visited Manele Bay and, while exploring the island, discovered a spectacular lava boulder rising from the sea. We watched in awe for nearly an hour as different species of birds landed and departed as if the rock were an international airport. We snapped some photos and continued to explore the island. After the tour was finished, we returned to our hotel and decided to research our discovery. According to Hawaiian legend, a beautiful woman named Puupehe was relaxing in one of the caves at the base of the rock. Suddenly, a storm arose and she perished in the cave. Her lover, a warrior named Makakehau, discovered Puupehe’s body and carried it to the top. He buried her and, when finished, jumped to his death 150 feet below. The landmark is now named Sweetheart Rock after the local legend.

Sweetheart Rock, Manele Bay, Lanai, HI. AS


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