Monday, April 24, 2017

Poetry and Science -- Allies in Discovery

     Poet Jane Hirshfield read onstage as part of the March for Science in Washington, DC on Saturday April 22.   Science and poetry both arise from the same desire for exploration, Hirshfield opined.  “If you don’t think at all, you think of them as opposites,” she said. “They are allies in discovery.”
     Hirshfield's staged poem, "On the 5th Day," appeared in the Washington Post a few days before the march.    Here are its opening stanzas (visit the Post link for the complete work.)
       On the Fifth Day     by Jane Hirshfield

       On the fifth day
       the scientists who studied the rivers
       were forbidden to speak
       or to study the rivers.

       The scientists who studied the air
       were told not to speak of the air,    

       and the ones who worked for the farmers
       were silenced,
       and the ones who worked for the bees.

       Someone, from deep in the Badlands,
       began posting facts.

       The facts were told not to speak
       and were taken away.
             . . .

Read the rest of Hirshfield's poem here in the Washington Post.

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