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Effacing the Divide - Poetry and Science 
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Post Effacing the Divide - Poetry and Science
Since this selection deals generally on the topic of reconciling the often adverse realms of art and science, I thought it might be interesting to actively involve ourselves in this synthesis by writing some verse of our own. I know that we have several poetically inclined members and as we read through Unweaving the Rainbow, perhaps we could take the time to actually make some art and discuss how Dawkin's ideas have influenced us.

So if you like the idea, express yourselves and have fun. The point is to try it, not to be good at it. If you want, you can epitomize Dawkin's belief in the poety of science, or you can rhyme about some significant experience in your life. There's no wrong way to do it except maybe to give up without trying.

Additionally, I think this thread would be a good place to post poetry (or art) that holds special relevance in your life, or that you just happen to enjoy.

Hope to see your responses and remember, water drinkers don't write good verse - Horace Epistulae! =)

Edited by: Timothy Schoonover at: 5/7/03 4:58:03 pm



Mon May 05, 2003 7:15 pm


Post Re: Effacing the Divide - Poetry and Science
I'll try to get things rolling with one of my favorite poems -- Dulce Et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen.

Quote:
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


The latin phrase Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is a reference from Horace's Odes which means - "It is sweet and right to die for one's country." I think it is a sobering jolt to the patriotic excesses of our present world.




Wed May 07, 2003 1:29 am
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Post Re: Effacing the Divide - Poetry and Science
Tim

Poetry is something I have never learned to appreciate. This thread will be helpful to me in that I really do wish to learn to understand and value this means of expression. I'm too analytical. I break poetry down in a reductionistic fashion...thus destroying its symbolism and deeper meaning. I'm working on this so bare with me!

Post your favorites...

Chris

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 10/30/05 4:52 pm



Wed May 07, 2003 1:52 am
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Post Re: Effacing the Divide - Poetry and Science
Well it would be bad form to encourage you all to produce poetry without doing so myself. So I composed the following poem for this thread, and hope that some of you will try your hand at it.

Quote:

Sun's Shadow

Relentlessly pursued through the hourglass
Grain crashes into grain as I peer round
Her phoenix pace unquenched; yet cannot pass--
Cannot draw near, cannot fall back, this hound

Sister Sisyphus, indomitable,
Ever-conquered, ever-weary, she bleeds--
Heroically

Betrayed by three, that fate so treacherous
Born in the shadow of the sun, she sees
Celestial globes, as old Copernicus
Oh precious heretic, they orbit thee

Sister Sisyphus, indomitable,
Ever-conquered, ever-weary, she bleeds--
Heroically



So...what do you think I mean? =)

Edited by: Timothy Schoonover at: 5/7/03 3:42:09 am



Wed May 07, 2003 3:35 am
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Post Re: Effacing the Divide - Poetry and Science
Chris
Quote:
Poetry is something I have never learned to appreciate.
Reading poetry is a lot like trying to read sheet music. Poetry never moved me until I went to a poetry reading (ok, I admit it: I had the hots for the lass who was reading and NO interest in cummings at the time). I have loved e.e. cummings ever since.

We are taught in elementary school not to speak or move our lips when we read. This is fine for prose but not so good for poetry. I recommend always reading poetry aloud (softly if you are in the library).

BTW, Timothy, GREAT idea!




Wed May 07, 2003 6:08 am
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Post what do you think I mean?
Brings to my mind the black hole at the center of our galaxy




Wed May 07, 2003 6:11 am
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Post Re: what do you think I mean?
Oh Tim, I very much wish I could contribute to this thread, but all of my creative efforts along this line turn into vogon poetry or star trek haiku.

Doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading the work of others though.


Lynne




Wed May 07, 2003 9:05 am


Post Re: what do you think I mean?
Wow Jeremy, I like that interpretation a lot - almost more than my own. If I changed the line, "Betrayed by three" to "Betrayed by four," to symbolize the Unified Field Theory (is that what its called), you be DEAD on.

That is interesting. I've always heard and read about the multivalency of poetry, but until now I've never experienced how dynamic it could be.

Lynne

I would be destroyed if you didn't share your poetry, even if it is vogon or star trek haiku. There is often a lot of emphasis placed upon the distinction between 'high art' and 'low art,' but, in my opinion, it is not so much the form, subject, or even skillful construction that is important, but rather its expressiveness. Pour your soul into a haiku, and let the world be damned.



Edited by: Timothy Schoonover at: 5/7/03 12:16:32 pm



Wed May 07, 2003 10:06 am


Post Re: what do you think I mean?
You do not know what you're asking for. We had a conversational thread once that was nothing but physics haiku. Grimaces all around... Yeah, but it was fun. ;)


Beam me up

Barcley pouts.
Scattered dots of light
Certainty?



And there you go. My only contribution. Star Trek haiku.


:snicker:


Lynne




Thu May 08, 2003 11:16 am


Post Re: what do you think I mean?
Allow me to retort. ;)

Hurray for brave Lynne
Ping Koy Lam's let there be light
But who is Barcley?




Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm


Post Re: what do you think I mean?
Lt. Barcley is the crew member of ST-TNG that hates to use the transporter because he's afraid that all his molecules aren't going end up in the correct place, aligned properly. It's an ongoing theme on the show. And if you take the Uncertainty Principle into account... He has reason to fear. ;)


Lynne




Thu May 08, 2003 1:27 pm
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Post Re: The End of Nothing
Ozymandias

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


-Percy Bysshe Shelley
1792-1822

Edited by: ZachSylvanus at: 5/24/03 9:38:38 am



Sat May 24, 2003 9:36 am
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Post Re: The End of Nothing
Eggshells and Egos

Quote:
Eggshells and Egos are the queerest stuff
Fragile, unyielding and recalcitrant
A feather or a puff of air will crush
And dashed to bits, are they, when words are blunt

A whisper of a crack perceived, a stance
Unpalatable to the brittle ear
And when there is a sleight or look askance
Their pain producing, in profusion, tears

Eggshells and Egos would do well to learn
The importance of elasticity
For when community is what we yearn
Eggshells need "more vinegar than honey"

I would that they might speak their peace
And abscond the fortress of passivities
Aggression knowing not its name must cease
The quest for martyrdom it vainly seeks



This poem was inspired by a science experiment I did as a kid. When you soak and egg in vinegar for a couple days, the calcium dissolves resulting in a rubber egg. It stretches, bounces, squishes and then snaps back into shape. Its really cool although it stinks like a mofo!




Wed Jun 11, 2003 3:07 pm
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Post Re: The End of Nothing
Tim

You're quite talented at this poetry stuff. :) I'm very serious. Your The End of Nothing could very well topple my Christmas poem and take the lead on this thread. :rollin Good work.

Chris




Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:13 am
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Post Re: The End of Nothing
Haha, Chris. Laugh it up. :rollin




Thu Jun 12, 2003 10:48 am
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