All posts tagged: poetry and science

Bruce Bennett: “Listening to Physicists” and “The Constellations”

Editor’s note: The poet applies his prodigious wit to the theme of our most recent issue: science. — One of the earliest poems I remember writing—I might have been eight—began, “I do not like Infinity/For it does not make sense to me.” That may have set the tone for many of the poems I have written about science since then. It certainly seems to be a precursor of “Listening to Physicists” and “The Constellations.” But I don’t wish to be misunderstood (as I frequently am), or taken for a know-nothing.  I love reading—and writing—about such topics as the Expanding Universe and String Theory. I just don’t really know anything, and know I don’t, which I guess does make me a know-nothing of sorts, but one who is nonetheless eager to learn. I am a great amateur fan of Black Holes and the Big Bang. Years ago I published a poem called “Eternal Recurrence and the Big Bang” in Light Quarterly about the two biggest things I could think of. Here is the poem: An accident …

Vis-à-Vis Society: “Scientific Method: Am I In Love?” and “Scientific Method: Noir Sestina”

Editor’s note: Our objective is to determine whether the relationship between poetry and science is field-specific, or something. We hypothesize that a sentence will grow best when infected by the same ideas, images and methods that occur within either field.  Preliminary results have been published in the Poetri Dish [experiments in verse] section of Poetry Northwest, Spring & Summer 2012 (v7.n1).  Here, doctors Ink and Owning of Vis-à-Vis Society offer further findings: — Scientific Method: Am I In Love? Question: Am I in love? Research: I sleep in a bed with another, I have held his breath in my mouth. Hypothesis: If I run away, I will know. Experiment: Fog up the window and see whose name your finger writes. Observation: Made it all the way to Vancouver: wrote one name, smudged it out. Results: It is true, the finger moves. Report: Scientists in their lab coats leap to their feet in applause! +++ Scientific Method: Noir Sestina From a broken phone booth she called our her question, under-eye circles purple as bruises told of …

The Big Bang: Poetry & Science

Poetry Northwest presents The Science Issue The editors of Poetry Northwest are pleased to present the Spring-Summer 2012 edition of the magazine, a special theme issue exploring the intersections of poetry and science. As languages approaching the mysteries of existence and advancing the limits of human understanding, poetry and science have more in common than is commonly believed.The Science Issue presents a variety of poets who engage directly and indirectly with the sciences—from astrophysics and quantum mechanics to geology, botany, ornithology, and marine biology. It includes poets who are also scientists, like Katherine Larson (a molecular biologist, and recent Yale Younger Poets Prize and Kate Tufts Discovery award winner) and Amit Majmudar (who serves in the honorable tradition of the poet-physicians). It also includes a meditation on poetry by historian of science and University of Puget Sound professor Mott Greene. Featured writers include: Linda Bierds, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Timothy Donnelly, Forest Gander, Amy Greacen, Bob Hicok, Richard Kenney, Katherine Larson, Sarah Lindsay, and many more. “I’ve always taken a deep interest in the sciences—biology, astronomy, and physics in particular,” says editor Kevin Craft. “And I’m fascinated by the representational overlap between poetry …

Eva Heisler: “Lover’s Manual”

For November we feature Eva Heisler’s “Lover’s Manual,” which appears in Poetry Northwest Fall-Winter 2007-08 v2.n2. The  poem is part of a longer series of prose poems entitled “Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic.” According to Heisler, “‘Lover’s Manual’ originated as journal entries written during the first three years of a nine-year period in Iceland.  This was a period in which the romance and astonishments of a foreign land were challenged by the difficulties of earning a living as a foreigner.  I was constantly faced with just how deeply language shapes perception and, as I struggled to learn Icelandic, the blind spots proliferated.

Henry Hughes: “At the Edge of the Known World”

We continue our series focusing on Northwest poets with Henry Hughes. A native of Long Island, Hughes has made Oregon his home since 2002. His first collection of poems, Men Holding Eggs, received the 2004 Oregon Book Award; his poetry and essays have appeared in Harvard Review, Northwest Review, and Seattle Review. This month we feature two new poems—“At the Edge of the Known World,” and “Boccacio”— exclusive to Poetry Northwest Online.