|Happy New Year 2015 !|
Browsing through the Capitola Library on Christmas Eve, I came across a real gem. It's a big anthology of poetry about science and math called Verse & Universe. The poetry is mainly by non-scientists, taking the material of science as their inspiration. John Updike's justly famous poem about neutrinos is included but none of my own verse -- not even the eminently anthologizable Physics For Beginners. I am enjoying this big book in small bursts as if eating a box of chocolates. Reading this anthology is a good way for a scientist to begin the New Year, to appreciate so many fresh new perspectives on the craft of doing science. So far, having gobbled up only about 40 pages of the 300 plus in the box, my most favorite poem is one by Serbian-American Charles Simic which I reprint here:
MADONNA TOUCHED UP WITH A GOATEE
Most ancient Metaphysics, (poor Metaphysics!)
All decked up in imitation jewelry.
We went for a stroll, arm in arm,
smooching in public
Despite the difference in age.
It's still the 19th century, she whispered.
We were in a knife-fighting neighborhood
Among some rundown relics
of the Industrial Revolution.
Just a little further, she assured me.
In the back of a certain candy store
only she knew about,
The customers were engrossed in
the Phenomenology of the Spirit.
It's long past midnight, my dove, my angel!
We'd better be careful, I thought.
There were young hoods on street corners
With crosses and iron studs
on their leather jackets.
They all looked like they'd read Darwin
and that madman Pavlov,
And were about to ask for a light.