How do you integrate numerology in poetry? I was thinking of using numbers in the first four verses. For example, write a poem about war and make sure that the first four numbers matches the year World War II started. I thought about doing this, but this is a very superficial way of adding meaning. Is there a better way to intertwine numerology with the allegorical meaning of a poem?

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    This seems like a very personal question - I know nothing about numerology and have never considered using it in poetry, so I don't know whether there's a 'standard answer', but this strikes me as the sort of thing that you have to decide for yourself. – DM_with_secrets Jan 19 at 13:27

The Wikipedia article defiens "numerology" as:

belief in the divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value of the letters in words, names, and ideas. It is often associated with the paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts. (citations omitted)

But I do not think that isa what is meant by the OP, rather the question refers to what might be called "numerical symbolism" the use of numbers to indicate some allusion or association.

The question speaks of incorporating the digits of the year in which WWII started (I presume 'One', 'nine', 'three', and 'eight' in that order) into four stanzas of a poem about war. This seems like a perfectly acceptable form of symbolism -- it reminds me a bit of acrostic verse in which initial (or sometimes final) letters or words of a verse form a separate message.

There r also "counting songs" such as "Green Grow the Rushes, O" and this old man in which each verse (or sometimes line) is associated with a number, but those are a bit different

There is no standard way in which to introduce such symbolic numbers -- it might be done in whatever way the author thinks works best.


I think @davidseigel has a good answer for general numerical symbolism. If you want to use actual numerology in your poetry, I would suggest thinking about the meaning you want your poem to have and what number(s) might be associated with that. You could then build that number into your poem -- have a meter that corresponds (tetrameter for #4, for example). You could also have your stanzas have the number of lines that goes with your meaning. Those are two things that come to mind.

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