aurora borealis, stokkvagen c/o chuen seng teoh
Today’s poem is a masterclass expression of science through art. Through this poem, I discovered the poet Marie Howe. As I learnt, she is a considered poet, known to have worked on a poem for a decade before releasing it to the world. This particular poem is an enormous exception where she composed it shortly before this year’s Universe in Verse event. I am already seeking her out and looking forward to reading more of her works. Please enjoy, Singularity by Marie Howe.
by Marie Howe
(after Stephen Hawking)
Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity
we once were?
so compact nobody
needed a bed, or food or money —
nobody hiding in the school bathroom
or home alone
pulling open the drawer
where the pills are kept.
For every atom belonging to me as good
Belongs to you. Remember?
There was no Nature. No
them. No tests
to determine if the elephant
grieves her calf or if
the coral reef feels pain. Trashed
oceans don’t speak English or Farsi or French;
would that we could wake up to what we were
— when we were ocean and before that
to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was
liquid and stars were space and space was not
at all — nothing
before we came to believe humans were so important
before this awful loneliness.
Can molecules recall it?
what once was? before anything happened?
No I, no We, no one. No was
No verb no noun
only a tiny tiny dot brimming with
is is is is is
All everything home