Project Description

Alphabetic Order

There is a man who alphabetises.
Books. Plays. Anything. Dissolves bonds
between words, reorders
into preternatural neatness, fully justified.

Hamlet, that tragedy of lives
spilled out by revenge, mouths death
forty times, but love sixty-seven.
Even in despair, love triumphs.

At least, quantitatively. Gaze longer,
its kaleidoscope refracts: six embedded
six times, three nine,
nine three. Möbius origami.

There is more to this than mere
ingredients. Words crouch inert
until flexed by punctuation,
oxygenated by verbs—

our fascination for order insists
one can dissect truths;
the code of promised information
addictive to a knowledge junkie.

One more fact-hit.
It is not enough. We are hardwired
for movement, crave connection.
We love what breathes.

Isabel Rogers

Isabel Rogers’ first poetry collection, Don’t Ask, was published in 2017 by Eyewear. Her work has appeared in magazines including PoetryUnder the Radar and Mslexia, and also been widely anthologised. She won the 2014 Cardiff International Poetry Competition, and was Hampshire Poet Laureate for 2016. Her first novel—Life, Death and Cellos—is out in January 2019 with Farrago Books.