by Anna M. Evans
from Rattle #49, Fall 2015
Tribute to Scientists
Just where that star above
Shines with a cold, dispassionate smile —
If in the flesh I’d travel there,
How many, many a mile!
If this, my soul, should be
Unprisoned from its earthly bond,
Time could not count its markless flight
Beyond that star, beyond!
–From Lyrics of life and love / by William Stanley Braithwaite [electronic text]
Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962.
Courtesy of the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative American Verse Project.
Einstein was the first who stated,
He was the first who dared:
Mass and energy are related,
By E = mc2.
When Isaac Newton wrote The Laws that we all quote,
It’s now extremely apparent that he
Neglected to consider — Relativity.
What focused our attention on the fourth dimension?
We’d been doing so well with just three:
‘Twas Mr. Einstein’s brainchild — Relativity.
Now who would think, and who’d forecast,
That bodies shrink, when they go fast.
It makes old Isaac’s theory
So then if you are near when atom bombs appear,
And you’re reduced to a pile of debris,
You’ll know it’s largely due to — Relativity.
Yes, you can place the blame on — Relativity.
These lyrics were published in Physics Today, July 2005, p. 59.
A very interesting poem about the Big Bang:
A wonderful poem about another human species:
Folk tales of little people abound
Retreating to the deep Earth
Now and then to emerge and engage
Ensnare or enslave
With trickery or with passion
Peripatetic you may have been
Leaving small trace of your lives
But deep in an African cave
We have found you
Naledi, little stars
We term the women who reclaimed you to the light
Yet you carried your beloved dead here
Through narrow clefts, over parlous depths
To lay them tenderly down to rest
As we stare into our deep past
And find you, Homo naledi
Those of us who wonder
Those of us who marvel
Are ensnared and enamoured
Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond
The discovery of fossils of a new human species (Homo Naledi) is, in itself, a fascinating story. But why they are so ‘cool’ is very well explained by our fellow blogger on Fossil History at https://fossilhistory.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/homo-naledi-why-these-fossils-are-so-friggen-cool/
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The Radcliffe Science Library ran a poetry competition in 2016, and the wonderful winning poems are availaibe for download at:
Please go and discover!