Friday, September 24, 2010

3 Science Poems by Emily Dickinson

Continuing our series looking at Science and Culture, the following are three science themed poems by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).
More than 200 of Dickinson's poems make reference to scientific themes including physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, botany, physiology, medicine and psychology. She also deals with science in general terms as well as mathmatics and the appliance of science or technology (White, 1992).

Faith is a fine invention

"Faith" is a fine invention
When Gentlemen can see-
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency.

A science

A science—so the Savants say,
"Comparative Anatomy"—
By which a single bone —
Is made a secret to unfold
Of some rare tenant of the mold,
Else perished in the stone—

So to the eye prospective led,
This meekest flower of the mead
Upon a winter's day,
Stands representative in gold
Of Rose and Lily, manifold,
And countless Butterfly!

Nature, the gentlest mother

Nature, the gentlest mother,
Impatient of no child,
The feeblest or the waywardest,
Her admonition mild

In forest and the hill
By traveller is heard,
Restraining rampant squirrel
Or too impetuous bird.

How fair her conversation,
A summer afternoon,
Her household, her assembly;
And when the sun goes down

Her voice among the aisles
Incites the timid prayer
Of the minutest cricket,
The most unworthy flower.

When all the children sleep
She turns as long away
As will suffice to light her lamps;
Then, bending from the sky

With infinite affection
And infiniter care,
Her golden finger on her lip,
Wills silence everywhere.


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