Experimental Scientist Poets and Poet Scientists

IfIceThis excerpt is from W.W.E. Ross’ “If Ice” – read the whole poem here. W.W.E. Ross (1894-1966) was a Canadian geophysicist and poet. He spent a distinguished career at the Dominion Magnetic Observatory AND he has been called “the first modern Canadian poet” for his contributions to Imagist and Surrealist verse. Photograph (taken in the Anza-Borrego desert) and composition by me.

Where poetry and science intersect is fascinating and I am certainly not the first to be intrigued by the interplay of the two disciplines  – a couple of cool Science/Poetry (or Poetry/Science) links from the interwebs:

Poetry and Science website – this appears to be a new endeavor and so far so good! I hope that it continues and they keep posting articles. They describe their intentions as: “Our aim here is to share our thoughts, vision and news articles concerning the connection between Art & Science with the outside world.”

“Muriel Rukeyser on the Root of Our Resistance to Poetry, What it Shares with Science, and How It Expands our Lives” an excellent article on Brain Pickings reviewing Muriel Rukeyser’s 1949 book The Life of Poetry. 

Updated: Here is another great article from Brain Pickings – posted just a few days ago – a review of The Poetic Species, the historic dialogue between the scientist E.O. Wilson and poet Robert Haas. This is one of my favorite lines from the article:

         And therein, perhaps, lies the great power of poetry as an ally to science — the power to mobilize people’s imagination and open up their hearts for “the rest of life…”



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