If one wishes to get an understanding why a scientist might be interested in poetry, or should be, as good a resource as any is the book by Ian McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary (a review is here). While I would say that the inevitable brevity of McGilchrist’s sweeping tour of cultural history misses some significant points, his daring thesis based on the nature of the human brain is amply supported by numerous empirical studies in the medical, psychological, and neuroscience areas. It helps us to understand why so many today can remain imprisoned in a modern and flattened reductive “scientific” mode of knowing associated with the way the left hemisphere of our brains presents the world to us. It affects all of us, not just scientists.
You can find another take on why poetry can not be left behind in this article in The New Atlantis on Quantum Poetics: Why physics can not get rid of metaphor. Indeed, it can not, nor should it.
I occasionally have been given poems. I say given since I never sit down intending to write one or work at it. It simply comes, almost effortlessly, and I just quickly write it down but may make some fine adjustments later.
Walking in the woods by the lake
There are other poems I like that have been written by others. I can not be exhaustive but will add a few from time to time.
T. S. Elliot, Four Quartets
These poems yield all the more the more they are read and savored. Their sense of time and place is exquisite, an invitation into the mystery of being, savoring the real experienced present moment, the now, situated between past and future, uniting the beginning and the end. Poetic words reach beyond words.
- Quartet No. 1: Burnt Norton
- Quartet No. 2: East Coker
- Quartet No. 3: The Dry Salvages
- Quartet No. 4: Little Gidding
John Updike, Seven Stanzas at Easter
Some striking words to ponder, even if overly speculative in places.
Malcolm Guite, O Sapientia
Wisdom from a gifted poet who says it much better than I can.
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