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Science and Poetry: Kin?

September 7, 2016

Marianne Moore: “Do the poet and scientist not work analogously? Both are willing to waste effort. To be hard on himself is one of the main strengths of each. Each is attentive to clues, each must narrow the choice, must strive for precision.”

[quoted from “Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews”]

Miss Moore (1878-1972) is of the old school of poets, coming into her own as a poet in the 1920s. But the idea she puts forth here is timeless, even more relevant today when science is deified by some and condemned by others. As is the art poetry itself.

What is the point of either? To dig and dig and dig to find some indelible, incorruptible truth. Often the excavation is pointless, the results negative or at best inconclusive.

Does that mean that the poet or the scientist should cease their endeavours.

Ask any poet, any scientist. Their answer is your answer.

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