Poetry & Science

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This is a page for poetry about science, technology and engineering. I envision it as place to create and discover metaphors that bridge these two very disparate spheres of human existence and human thinking. More than that, it is place to engage or re-engage with language and with language metaphors. It is a page to turn to when technical language becomes dry and abstracted from its radical roots. I hope this wiki page also addresses the question of How do we build bridges, through language, between the known object and symbol and that which is unknown or linguistically imprecise? This dialogue, I further hope, will be a guide to that process of building language bridges, linking words, forms and images in poetic discourse to technical usage and expressions. Metaphor itself comes from the Greek to "carry across". We carry across meaning from words and ideas we know to new constructions of meaning. Poetry is a vehicle and bridge for metaphors and other touchstones of the imagination. In that sense the discussion and poems here broaden and extent the NoiseBridge metaphor: this page could have just as well been titled PoetryBridge or WordBridge.

I start with some more traditional poems to begin the bridge-building process. Why traditional poems? Many of them have a lot to offer despite their age and their often pre-computer social contexts. The poets nonetheless gave a great deal of thought to the science and technology of their era, quaint as it may seem to us now. Here's a few poems and some thoughts:

Poet to Physicist in His Laboratory

To a Locomotive in Winter

[Cosmic Gall] - John Updike's poem about neutrinos.


The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, 2nd edition, by Ellmann, O'Clair

Verse and Universe, edited by Kurt Brown

The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, edited by Alex Preminger and T.V.F. Brogan

[1] - Poetry Flash, a local zine with local and regional events

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