I find it interesting to see how many scientists enter the ocean of poetry after a lifetime of research. I have no doubt that both activities, the scientific and the poetic, share common elements such as the development of creativity and intuition. Renowned scientists have written poems and books of poetry, often directly related to the object of their scientific research. At other times they have had nothing to do with their usual work.
In any case, poetry has the attraction of creation and immediacy. It expresses, sometimes in very few words, questions of great complexity.
A friend of mine told me that the philosopher needed many words to develop an idea, while the poet could lie under a tree and, in a matter of seconds, write some verses that capture the essence of his thought.
An example is Marie Curie, the discoverer of radioactivity. She turned to poetic expression:
“Ah, how the student’s youth passes bitterly,
while all around him, with eternal lush passion,
other young people avidly seek the easy pleasures!
And yet, in their loneliness
alive, dark and happy,
for in his cell he finds the strength
which makes the heart immense!
But the blessed time fades away,
for he must leave the land of science
to fight for their bread
in the grey ways of life.
…And very often, the weary spirit
goes back under the roof
of this corner always loved by his heart,
where it housed the silent labor
and where there was a world of longing.”
In my particular case, I have been writing poetic prose for many years, most of it unpublished. I like to combine the reflection on science with the artistic one because with time I discovered that it is impossible to separate them, and poetry is an art.
The poetic treatment, the creation as such, seems to me fascinating and helps to understand many aspects of our world; but above all it establishes an analytical dimension that allows me to approach many questions from new and enriching perspectives. It is a very important mental stimulus.