Apr '13 19
In his poem 'Lamia' John Keats used the phrases 'cold philosophy' and 'unweave a rainbow' to lament science's cold deconstruction of a rainbow into seven colours.

According to Richard Dawkins, however, when discussing his book Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder , the opposite is true: solved mysteries reveal deeper beauty and as such, science can be the inspiration for great poetry.


Night wonder

She asks a question
about the halo of ice crystals
around Adelaide's half moon tonight
and the conversation flickers
around reflected light
and lunar bows,
a rainbow's shyer sibling,
its darker moonlit twin.

Cold philosophy
may have unweaved rainbows
but has yet
to whet its blade
on moonbows,
long abandoned by leprechauns
with pots of gold in tow.


Posted by Jennifer Liston

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6 Comments

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  1. russpoet says:

    *Like it. Taut and well put.

  2. Alison says:

    *This is gorgeous, Jen, and such an interesting intro. I'm with Hawkings!

  3. Jen says:

    *Thank you Russ!

  4. Jen says:

    *Thanks so much Alison! And yes, the intro was based on actual events/conversations! xo

  5. Marianne Musgrove says:

    *This poem is one of my favourites of yours so far this month. Love the "halo of ice crystals". I've heard it said that, these days, it's the scientists who have a beautiful faith while the theologians have become disillusioned in their quest to pin down God and have lost their faith altogether.

  6. Jen says:

    *Thanks so much Marianne, that means a lot to me. And what an interesting observation. It seems that science satisfies while faith frustrates! :-)

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