Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Broken Symmetry" by John C. Mannone

Broken Symmetry
John C. Mannone

I can’t tell how many times
physics has birthed a poem
on my ledger of equations.
Obscure letters, x’s and chi’s,
dissolve into words as precisely
as they do in mathematics,
in theorems. Abstractions
transform into more abstractions,
yet there is a tangibility to them.
They have congruent similarity,
a mathematician might say.

There is beauty in symmetry
even after it is broken, as in
the universe of atoms, of stars,
of love and of us. But I tell you,
the converse,

physics is born of poetry, too.
Note the way the words break,
flow into new dimensions.
Even Poe, the surgeon of letters
with no bedside manner, knew
the nighttime universe should
blaze. He knew the fickle
goddess of light hadn’t brought it
to our eyes yet. I’m still waiting
for her, for the beauty of physics—
her face still lovely, even broken
in the dark, in uneven light.

Poet’s Notes: I continue to write poetry that fuses with science and mathematics. There’s an opportunity to explore a new source of metaphor. 

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