|Cover art by Shida Cao|
One of the ways experts employ to determine the precise age of a panel painting is to examine the wood used. The technique is called 'dendrochronology', which is commonly known as 'tree-ring dating'. This is how the method works:
By measuring the widths of individual growth rings in a sequence visible in the end grain of a wood panel it is possible to match the ring pattern against a master chronology and give a date for the last ring measured.
In my poem, I ponder on the possibility of 'measuring' love objectively, like tree-ring dating. I also add a turn to it, inspired by the following description of the technique:
Dendrochronology can be used to date panels made from oak but cannot be used for poplar (most common in Italian painting) because their growth is too erratic. (via.)Of course, poplar is also widely used for paper-making. That might change your understanding of the poem?
-Read the entire new issue of Willows Wept Review here.
-My poem "Hong Kong Summer" was published in the Summer 2009 issue.