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Thread: A Poem

  1. #1 A Poem 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    I thought this might be appropriate for a science forum... I feel it's actually not pro-science, but it works anyway. Please post your thoughts and comments on it so I don't feel stupid for posting it. Thanks in advance.

    Sonnet--To Science by Edgar Allan Poe

    Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
    Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
    Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
    Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
    How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise?
    Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
    To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
    Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
    Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
    And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
    To seek a shelter in some happier star?
    Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
    The Elfin from the green grass, and from me:
    The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?


    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  3. #2  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Not a bad poem, more metaphor than anything else, but being of science thats a good thing I guess for us to decode it .


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Keats too dissed science and scientists when he claimed that Newton had unwoven the rainbow. Dawkins, in typically combative mode, took that for a theme in his eponymous work: Unweaving the rainbow.

    For whatever reason (and in despite of Shelley's In defence of atheism) science seems always to have rubbed poets up the wrong way. 'Spity, as I like them both.
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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Poe seemed to believe the “dull realities” of scientific discovery would be the demise of art. How wrong he was!

    Here’s one by Billy Collins, not really about science, but about those important questions that ought to, but don’t, keep some people awake at night: Questions About Angels
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Poe seemed to believe the “dull realities” of scientific discovery would be the demise of art. How wrong he was!

    Here’s one by Billy Collins, not really about science, but about those important questions that ought to, but don’t, keep some people awake at night: Questions About Angels
    That is fantastic. Thanks for the link.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Billy Collins is great isn't he? I have an autographed copy of "Picnic, Lightning".
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  8. #7  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Here’s one by Billy Collins, not really about science, but about those important questions that ought to, but don’t, keep some people awake at night: Questions About Angels
    Didn't care for that too much, to be perfectly honest. It was kind of plain for me... Didn't get much out of it.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  9. #8  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    That's OK - we all have different tastes.

    I like Collins because he is immediately understandable; you don't have to go back and re-read it several times and then wonder if you really get what he meant. He's not trying to force his thoughts into a rigid form, but it still reads like poetry.

    The other thing is that he takes everyday observations that are, for most of us, fleeting and unreflected-upon, and analyzes them with wit and tosses them back at us for a better look.

    By the way, thanks for starting a poetry thread. Maybe others will post some of their favorites.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    That's OK - we all have different tastes.

    I like Collins because he is immediately understandable; you don't have to go back and re-read it several times and then wonder if you really get what he meant. He's not trying to force his thoughts into a rigid form, but it still reads like poetry.

    The other thing is that he takes everyday observations that are, for most of us, fleeting and unreflected-upon, and analyzes them with wit and tosses them back at us for a better look.

    By the way, thanks for starting a poetry thread. Maybe others will post some of their favorites.
    FWIW, it's only when I looked him up on wiki that I realised that he'd invented the paradelle (see 'Sauce and sonnets' thread) as a spoof-ish form.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Yes, it's a spoof. Still, that's no reason not to try and write one. On another forum far away and long ago we did have a paradelle contest, with several good entries.
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  12. #11  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    ...you don't have to go back and re-read it several times and then wonder if you really get what he meant.
    I like having to re-read and wonder if I really got what the poem meant. I like it when the meaning of a short story or poem takes a couple seconds to sink in because it's so profound. That happens very often with a short story author and poet that I've brought up before...Jorge Luis Borges.

    I'd like to open up this thread to any poetry anyone would like to share for serious discussion. Here's a poem that I had to read for my college english class that I really enjoyed...

    Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

    Whenever Richard Cory went downtown,
    We people on the pavement looked at him;
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim,

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
    "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
    And admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Didn't Simon and Garfunkel perform that?
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  14. #13  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Didn't Simon and Garfunkel perform that?
    Different words except for the last two lines, but yeah.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  15. #14  
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    Nice concept poems
    Are also Good to read
    Maybe Next time something more original?
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  16. #15  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Softix
    Nice concept poems
    Are also Good to read
    Maybe Next time something more original?
    What do you mean by "more original"? I see nothing un-original about them. Every poem, every song, every book, etc. is unique, and thus original. If you mean perhaps that they're too "ordinary," then maybe you should try a little harder to find the meaning in them and not just take them as 'any old poem.' <rant...> Anyone have any poems they'd care to share?
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  17. #16  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Since you like Poe, here's an essay that he calls a prose poem:

    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/poe/eureka.html

    Rather amazingly, he figured out why the sky at night is black, but then rejected his own idea:

    Were the succession of stars endless, then the background of the sky would present us an uniform luminosity, like that displayed by the Galaxy -- since there could be absolutely no point, in all that background, at which would not exist a star. The only mode, therefore, in which, under such a state of affairs, we could comprehend the voids which our telescopes find in innumerable directions, would be by supposing the distance of the invisible background so immense that no ray from it has yet been able to reach us at all. That this may be so, who shall venture to deny? I maintain, simply, that we have not even the shadow of a reason for believing that it is so.
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