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Making Data Memorable by Emma Lee


(after 'Data Mountains' Oleksiy Sai)

Haven't most of us had a dream like this:

where a spreadsheet of numbers in columns

yawns away a morning until they are organised

into a chart so it becomes something

we can interpret and give meaning to?


Only for our dreaming to intervene

and we re-colour the chart to personalise it,

change plain rectangles into more interesting

shapes, increase or decrease spaces between?


How many of us give in to our inner child

that wants to create conical forests, coloured

data-trees stretching into the distance,

a space to wander among trees, feel the breeze,

the soil under our feet, turn background chatter

into a susurrus of leaves, let the sky in?


Until an alarm beeps and the woods have to return

to sheets of paper with regimented numbers

that we have to remember had meaning once.


---


Emma Lee’s publications include “The Significance of a Dress” (Arachne, 2020) and "Ghosts in the Desert" (IDP, 2015). She co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea,” (Five Leaves, 2015), was Reviews Editor for The Blue Nib, reviews for magazines and blogs at http://emmalee1.wordpress.com.

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