Once Again I Prove the Theory of Relativity Themes

Sandra Cisneros

Themes

Romantic Love The title of the poem, “Once Again I Prove the Theory of Relativity” is meant humorously. It refers to Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity, published in 1905, and his general theory of relativity, developed in 1915 and 1916. Using calculations based on the postulate of the uniform speed of light and the relativity of motion (the motion of something can be determined only by its relation to something else), Einstein showed that time is measured differently for people moving relative to one another. At speeds of light, time would slow to near zero.

In the popular mind, Einstein’s theory, which is too complex for most laymen to understand in detail, has given rise to the idea that under certain circumstances, time might flow backward rather than forward. The actual physics of this notion is not important for the poem. Cisneros merely uses the idea as a jumping-off point for her speaker to imagine that, since time might run backwards, her lost lover might return.

Using this premise, the poem explores the many ways in which love can be expressed, and the lover can appreciate the beloved. There is an emphasis on the freedom love brings, as well as the feelings of exultation and lightness, of exhilaration, and of the intensity of sensual experience. This kind of love animates a person and enlivens her physically. Love is exciting. It makes the persona of the poem dance and leap with enthusiasm and do things she would not normally do. Love energizes.

The love revealed by the poem is also a grand sentiment, an expansive emotion. It stimulates in the lover the flamboyant expression of her feelings, and it can also enlarge her beyond her normal self and beyond her usual cultural boundaries. She can be a Spanish dancer or a Taiwanese diva, or she can take part in a Chinese opera. Her voice can be like the roar of music on a film soundtrack. When she loves, she leaves her small, individual self...

(The entire section is 696 words.)