Poet to Physicist in His Laboratory

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Poet to Physicist in His Laboratory

by David Ignatow

Come out and talk to me		
for then I know		
into what you are shaping.
Thinking is no more,
I read your thoughts for a symbol:
a movement towards an act.
I give up on thought
as I see your mind
leading into a mystery
deepening about you.
What are you trying to discover
beyond the zone of habit
and enforced convention?
There is the animus
that spends itself on images,
the most complex being
convention and habit.
You shall form patterns
of research and bind yourself
to laws within your knowledge,
and always conscious of your limitations
make settlement,
with patience to instruct you
as it always does
in your research: an arrangement
spanning an abyss of time,
and you will find yourself patient
when you are questioned.

Comments and Notes

This poem is an invitation to a dialogue between the speaker (a poet) and a physicist. The Title makes this explicit: "Poet to Physicist...". The first line is Come out and talk to me. This is an invitation for the physicist to emerge from his laboratory and engage with the poet. The speaker wants to know the "shape" of the research occurring in this laboratory; the word shape is peculiar in this context. It could be the research, as we would normally expect, or it could refer to the physicist himself, oddly enough.

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