Infinite Cosmos | Teen Ink

Infinite Cosmos

November 3, 2013
By 411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank


Cradled in the Void
The Madonna is rocking
Forwards and backwards

Knitting a blanket
Sapphire blue and strewn with pearls
Back and Forth, always


The author's comments:
This is the most ambitious and complex poem I have ever composed, and so I urge you to take a few minutes to analyze it. Below are some guiding suggestions to help you decipher its deeper meaning.

The Author's Hints and Tips:
•Watch for metaphors (there are a lot) and intentionally capitalized words/words with multiple meanings
•Creation
•Reference Genesis Ch. 1 (New King James Version)
•"The Madonna" in religious context
•The idiom "back and forth" as described under definition 45.2 of the word "back" on dictionary.com

Challenge: I really stretched myself in writing this poem, and so I challenge you to stretch yourself in reading it. If you feel that you have made out the storyline or have identified metaphors, please share them with me on my Writer's Workshop thread entitled "The 'Infinite Cosmos' Challenge: Decoding a Metaphoric Enigma." I am experimenting with a new style of writing, so your responses will help me gage how the poem's meaning is being perceived. The person who most correctly answers the question "What does this poem mean?" in their post will be rewarded!! In case you were wondering, the person who wins the challenge will receive my comments, ratings, and feedback on up to 30 articles.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this. I can't wait to hear what you all have to say! (Honestly, your feedback means the world to me!) Happy decrypting!

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JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 27 comments.


on Feb. 26 2015 at 6:45 pm
isabelw DIAMOND, Atlanta, Georgia
58 articles 2 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"They say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." -John Lennon

I really like this poem. It's better that anything I've ever written! This is my interpretation: It feels very deist meaning that when I picture it I see God out there in "the void" knitting making our world move. I understand the Madonna reference, but it definitely contradicts my deist view on this because deism doesn't say anything about Mary creating the world and setting in motion. I think the world is the sapphire blanket, or a metaphor for the ocean, "strewn with pearls." I like that imagery because it's not easy to find pearls, I mean real ones from the ocean, so Madonna casually sprinkles them among us as blessings. And the "back and forth, always" line is a perfect way to end the poem. I think that God can go in between time whenever He pleases, He transcends time because He is God. So in a rocking chair, rocking back and forth, He can do his thing forever. I don't know if that's what you were feeling, but it's what I felt :)

on Mar. 21 2014 at 5:58 pm
Wondering_About_Infinity SILVER, New York, New York
6 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'm nobody! Who are you?" -Emily Dickinson

I gave this article four stars instead of the five it probably deserves simply because this poem sent me down the google-road, and I enjoy poetry that I can appreciate without checking up "Who's Modanna in religion?" But, the poem itself is quite good, as I read it I was reminded of the quote: Worrying is like a rockingchair, you go back and forth, and back and forth, and never get anywehere. Reading your poem, I pictured the Virgin Mary with a void in her head- with big black nothingness, and she's knitting frantically, rocking (in my imaginary rocking chair) back and forth- infinitely. The worry is forever, the void in our minds, forever and ever. The sapphires and pearls went way over my head-- care to enlighten me? You are a fantastic poet, wow, be proud!

on Dec. 23 2013 at 12:16 pm
ChrisJ PLATINUM, Rochester, New York
24 articles 15 photos 289 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Ellie, I am VERY sorry for not getting to you sooner, I have just been having a alot of computer problems lately. I would never forget ;) So here is my interpretation: When I looked up the term "Madonna" (which I have never heard of, you must be really smart), it said it was another term for the Virgin Mary. With that in mind, I came to the conclusion that this poem is about the Virgin Mary "knitting" our sapphire blue blanket shrewn with pearls, which is our night sky glistening with stars. When I looked on Dictonary.com, the 45.2 definition of the word "back" meant to work in an ineffective way. After this, I came to the second conclusion that, though Mary tries her hardest to make the world beautiful, the world remains dark and her work at certain points seems meaningless. Finally, I read Genesis chapter 1 (New Kings James Version) and saw that the term "void" was another way of saying that the Earth was "without form." The final conclusion that I gathererd from all of the information put together was (hold on to your seat) that our Virgin Mary sits in the rubble that is our planet without any significant form, basically creates the the blanket over the Earth that is the sky, with minimal results in what she wants the world to look like, and that she always does as we live out our sinful lives as disobedient human beings. Again, I want to apologize for my absence. I never wanted you to think that I forgot or didn't care, I am truly sorry. Please forgive me. It was always on my to-do list, but the truth is that I never got to it, with school and various laptop issues. Thank you for your patience. This poem taught me a lesson. By not responding to this piece when I should have, which is a sin, I was making it harder for our Virgin Mary to make the world a beautiful place, therefore damaging the form of our planet (in a spiritual sense). Thank you for helping me realize this. You, without a doubt, are a gifted writer.

on Nov. 29 2013 at 6:46 pm
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank

Thank you all for your comments and feedback–it means a lot to me. Kindle ans Saphira, you went above and beyond my expectations. I owe each of you quite a bit of feedback ;) Again, thank you all for participating. I will take heed your comments. Keep on writing! ~Lexy

on Nov. 19 2013 at 12:56 pm
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank

Good luck with your college courses, btw :)

on Nov. 19 2013 at 12:56 pm
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank

Thank you! I will take heed of your advice in my next haiku :)

on Nov. 18 2013 at 8:47 pm
Carpe-Caffeam GOLD, No Where, Florida
10 articles 0 photos 445 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If it weren’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.” –David Letterman

Urgh, T.I. won't let me comment. As I have been busy (and still am with my college courses), I cannot delve into the deeper meaning. However, I am going to give a piece of advice: when trying to create an allegorical poem, there should be two meanings. The first meaning, the surface meaning, should be evident to the reader on the first reading. If the audience so chooses, they will do the research and get a second meaning, the deeper meaning. Then, it makes sense either way you read it. I think that it was well-thought-out and that you did an excellent job with the symbolism. :) Keep on writing!

on Nov. 18 2013 at 7:44 am
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank

That's alright :) You are entitled to your opinion. I didn't intend to force the challenge upon anyone. When I added it, I knew that not everyone would want to do it. The challenge is just an optional thing for people who feel so inclined to do it. I apologize if I have offended you in any way. Nonetheless, thank you for you comment. I appreciate your honesty.

on Nov. 18 2013 at 3:04 am
I am not even going to attempt to do this. I understand that complexity in short poems are powerful, but to actually make the reader try and find the meaning of the poem is a little...ridiculous in my opinion. But I can not really talk as I have no writings. You are a much better writer than I am and well done. It is a nice poem, I just do not like the idea of having to search for the meaning in outside resources.

on Nov. 15 2013 at 11:20 pm
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank

Thank you!

on Nov. 15 2013 at 8:43 am
Saintz-Flam3Rose PLATINUM, Jacksonville, Florida
26 articles 0 photos 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do not follow those who follow others for they are only followers themselves.

How very sofisticated

on Nov. 15 2013 at 5:39 am
SaphiraBrightscales DIAMOND, Islamabad, Other
75 articles 16 photos 1143 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
When i was little/I used to point a chubby finger toward the dark sky/And ask my father/why some stars moved and others didn’t/He would laugh and explain that some were airplanes/I still wish on them today ~ Laugh-It-Out
The feathers of a crow are black/The ink of my pen is blacker/The pain of my heart is blackest~ Mckay
If love produced a blossom/I’d take it in my palm/What a blessing, the bright color!/How soothing, such a balm!/I’d keep a petal for my own/The rest, drop from my hands/For such a flower would multiply/And populate the lands~ thesilentraven
And I began to rival legends/Long entombed before my birth./But for all my much envied fame/The lust for more would not abate./The plaques and prizes with my name/Will, like all things, disintegrate. ~ TheEpic95 now known as Helena_Noel

P.S. Yes I also agree with Rayynbow that it does give a sense of pointlessness but what is pointless is the question.

on Nov. 15 2013 at 5:38 am
SaphiraBrightscales DIAMOND, Islamabad, Other
75 articles 16 photos 1143 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
When i was little/I used to point a chubby finger toward the dark sky/And ask my father/why some stars moved and others didn’t/He would laugh and explain that some were airplanes/I still wish on them today ~ Laugh-It-Out
The feathers of a crow are black/The ink of my pen is blacker/The pain of my heart is blackest~ Mckay
If love produced a blossom/I’d take it in my palm/What a blessing, the bright color!/How soothing, such a balm!/I’d keep a petal for my own/The rest, drop from my hands/For such a flower would multiply/And populate the lands~ thesilentraven
And I began to rival legends/Long entombed before my birth./But for all my much envied fame/The lust for more would not abate./The plaques and prizes with my name/Will, like all things, disintegrate. ~ TheEpic95 now known as Helena_Noel

So basically the image formed in my mind is this: instead of resting in a rocking chair, Mary is rocking in the nothingness and with and aimless manner she ever-on knits/threads/creates this blanket that the world is enveloped with. It could be the sky or it could be a metaphor alluding to the humans and the "always" is the most important factor as it says how this is an infinite process. I realize I've been going on for far too long :P I really should stop now. I hope I have stretched in reading this poem even 0.1 % of what you did in writing it. Love always, Saphira.

on Nov. 15 2013 at 5:33 am
SaphiraBrightscales DIAMOND, Islamabad, Other
75 articles 16 photos 1143 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
When i was little/I used to point a chubby finger toward the dark sky/And ask my father/why some stars moved and others didn’t/He would laugh and explain that some were airplanes/I still wish on them today ~ Laugh-It-Out
The feathers of a crow are black/The ink of my pen is blacker/The pain of my heart is blackest~ Mckay
If love produced a blossom/I’d take it in my palm/What a blessing, the bright color!/How soothing, such a balm!/I’d keep a petal for my own/The rest, drop from my hands/For such a flower would multiply/And populate the lands~ thesilentraven
And I began to rival legends/Long entombed before my birth./But for all my much envied fame/The lust for more would not abate./The plaques and prizes with my name/Will, like all things, disintegrate. ~ TheEpic95 now known as Helena_Noel

So, the blanket being knitted could be the sky of course which your selected picture could be refering to (that or the void) and the blue sapphires and pearls could be metaphors for stars themselves but then the "always" puts one in doubt and I wonder because "Mary" is knitting and not "God" so it cannot be the sky and that would be too literal as well, so all I can think of is that the sapphires/pearls/stars could be metaphors for children or people as in many myths we may have heard that (especially Indian) that people become stars when they die or are stars before they are born so this "always-knitting" could be referring to the ever-going thread of the world and that reminds me of Hercules. I used to watch that disney movie so much when I was little ehehehhe,, you must be wondering how it reminds me of Hercules. Well, I remember the three fates that helped Hades all the times with their threads of gold and that might be relevant in some far off way but anyway... .... What I have so far deciphered is by using up all your given hints and I must say it is quite a lot and yes, the complexity at times is quite befuddling but let me strive on when I have promised I shall do my best. 

on Nov. 15 2013 at 5:32 am
SaphiraBrightscales DIAMOND, Islamabad, Other
75 articles 16 photos 1143 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
When i was little/I used to point a chubby finger toward the dark sky/And ask my father/why some stars moved and others didn’t/He would laugh and explain that some were airplanes/I still wish on them today ~ Laugh-It-Out
The feathers of a crow are black/The ink of my pen is blacker/The pain of my heart is blackest~ Mckay
If love produced a blossom/I’d take it in my palm/What a blessing, the bright color!/How soothing, such a balm!/I’d keep a petal for my own/The rest, drop from my hands/For such a flower would multiply/And populate the lands~ thesilentraven
And I began to rival legends/Long entombed before my birth./But for all my much envied fame/The lust for more would not abate./The plaques and prizes with my name/Will, like all things, disintegrate. ~ TheEpic95 now known as Helena_Noel

Firstly I must tip my hat to you for creating such a literary masterpiece as this for so much is said in so little and yes this praise must seem of such little value but truth is truth and what else can I say when nothing else is there to be said but this. This Haiku is truly one-of-a-kind, filled with ginormous amounts of meaning as you yourself have told. And yes, I must say if you had not told the reader to strive as much as that with all the writers hints one may not have dug as deep as this. And yet even after searching all of the hints provided and connecting the dots there seem to be so many things left that just seem inexplicabe and I wonder could anyone truly grasp all said and unsaid in this one poem. So pardon if this interpretation isn't what you had hoped it would be but let me have a go.   So, firstly beginning with genesis. It says In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.   This may give one the sense that virgin Mary (who from the second hint is obviously what you're referring to by The Madonna is rocking) is being cradled in the nothingness by God on the very first day of creation, and yet I wonder would you have used here, "cradling" instead of cradled for in most contexts, she is the one to be cradling rather than being cradled and because Mary's significance in Christianity is linked directly to her role as Jesus' mother, it is more common to find her represented as the young mother of an extraordinary infant than as a solitary woman. But well, your poem clearly says "cradled" so what I can infer is that in this one peculiar and singular context she is the one Being cradled and thus this is actually about her creation as well as the universes, this aura is added to as one proceeds to the second stanza as we decipher what she has been doing. And I must say here that both Haiku have an infinite number of meanings so the title (which I find ever so beautiful) could be referring to that or/and also the rhythmic ever-knitting activity. As the word "always" completely concurs with the word "infinite" in the title.  Now back to the interpretation of the poem itself. One really remarkable thing that you have done here is that a baby in a cradle is rocked back and forth as well as a lady in a rocking chair doing her knitting so the way you linked both stanzas/haiku with that concurring back and forth motion is rather witty. and adds even more depth. But then, the back and forth according to your dictionary definition in the idioms sections means "to work in an aimless, ineffective manner, expend effort with little result", now this one gives one a sense of aimlessness and that the striving is all for naught and yet that could not be completely so for the knitting is rather meaningful in itself thus I could only say that the manner of knitting is rather detached and uncaring. But that also contradicts the loving and affectionate nature of the Madonna who is always depicted so differently in Christian art from where this term "Madonna" orginally was borne,  especially those images that feature mother and infant, known familiarly as Madonna and Child.  So, well at times the poem leaves me befuddled as to how many times it contradicts well-established religious traditions. But then I continue to strive and wonder at this what is the meaning of the knitting the blanket. From genesis chap1, one could simply take the line  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.    

on Nov. 12 2013 at 7:07 pm
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank

Thank you for being honest :)

on Nov. 12 2013 at 7:05 pm
SpringRayyn PLATINUM, Lakeville, Minnesota
34 articles 2 photos 658 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing."
--Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief"

I'm really sorry, but all that I could get from this is that life is pointless to everyone, even the virgin mary, who is so important to christian faith. Or possibly religion is pointless. Either way, something is pointless. Well, I tried.

on Nov. 12 2013 at 12:34 pm
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank

Thank you for commenting! That is something I will work on :) 

on Nov. 12 2013 at 12:14 pm
RozaAlexander, Amory, Mississippi
0 articles 0 photos 67 comments

Favorite Quote:
rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools, & accepted by idiots.

i agree with shade, while on one hand it is a complex poem, which i love by the way, try expanding a little and give yourself even more room to steadily build the complexity up.  

on Nov. 11 2013 at 9:05 pm
411Ellie PLATINUM, Fridley, Minnesota
41 articles 28 photos 235 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Paper is more patient than people." –Anne Frank

Don't worry :) I will Definitely (with a capital D) comment on your work :)  


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