Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Secular Blindness and Nature: A Poem by Donald T. Williams

PROPOSED, THAT THE MODERN SCIENTIFIC WORLDVIEW IN ITS EUPHORIA OVER LEARNING HOW TO DO NEAT THINGS WITH MATTER, HAS LEFT SOMETHING OUT OF THE EQUATION

There was a time when men could see the sky,
   A grand cathedral vaulted and ablaze
   With myriad candles lifted up on high
   By nights for vespers; in the brighter days,
The great rose window eastward shed its rays
   For morning prayer, and each and every flame
   Burned elegant in litanies of praise,
   In fugues and canons to extol the Name.
But now the sky, though larger, is more tame,
   And modern man sees what he's taught to see:
   Though multiplied toward infinity;
And quarks and quasars cannot speak to us
   Except as agitated forms of dust.
Except as agitated forms of dust,
   We don't know how to know the thing we are:
   The biochemistry of love is lust
   As an atomic furnace is a star,
And all that's known is particles at war.
   And yet we do know love, and yet we know
   That it and lust are infinitely far
   Apart.  We know the stars and how they glow,
Though they know nothing of us here below.
   So, even while we're slogging through the mire,
   We cannot help ourselves, but as we go,
   We cock our heads to listen for the choir.
We know that half the truth is half a lie:
   There was a time when men could see the sky.

---Donald T. Williams

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