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
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.
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Re: Effacing the Divide - Poetry and Science
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!
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Re: Effacing the Divide - Poetry and Science
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).
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.
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.
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.
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Re: The End of Nothing
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.
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!
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