Thursday, November 1, 2007

science & poetry

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
by Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

I remember reading this poem during my high school days. How it really rings true now, when I am years past the AP/honors science classes and on my way towards becoming a "real" scientist. I can only hope that as I become more "learn'd," I will not forget the majestic wonder of that which I study.

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