Disruptions of Roundness in Language, Poetry and Culture

Humans are strangely obsessed with the perceptual and conceptual disruption of round things, especially eyes. Evidence for this is available in art, idiomatic language, fictional literature, the poetry of Medium and elsewhere. Other animals feel the same way.

10 min readFeb 23, 2022
Wassily Kandinsky’s “Several Circles.” In this painting there are about 40 circles of different sizes and colors, some of them overlapping and some not. The background is black. Photo from WikiArt. Public domain.
Wassily Kandinsky’s “Several Circles.” Photo from WikiArt. Public domain.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

— Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18” (Open Source Shakespeare 2022)


Fiery Eyes and Other Roundness Disruption in Poetry
Disruptions of Roundness in Poems on Medium (52)
Cultural Examples




A concept of aesthetic complexity based on universal animal preferences for mixtures of simple, more and less exciting physical and psychological opposites.