Guest poem submitted by Vivian Eden, as part of the _poems by scientists about science_ theme:
(Poem #800) In the Microscope
Here too are the dreaming landscapes, lunar, derelict. Here too are the masses, tillers of the soil. And cells, fighters who lay down their lives for a song. Here too are cemeteries, fame and snow. And I hear the murmuring, the revolt of immense estates.
Translated into English from Czech by Ian Milner, in Miroslav Holub, "Poems before & After," Bloodaxe Books, 1990. In line five, I do not know whether the Czech word translated here as "cells" also has a political meaning; in any case, it works in English. For more about Miroslav Holub see www.complete-review.com/authors/holubm.htm This poem, I think, perfectly expresses the poetry of science. Czech poet Miroslav Holub (1923-1998) was an immunologist by profession and a poet by calling. "In the Microscope" demonstrates how the poet's eye is like the scientist's eye and how the entire cosmos can be found in a smudge of something-or-other on a microscope slide. Throughout, but particularly in the last two lines, the poem "yokes" scientific man, political man and poetic man to this smudge, which is a thing of beauty and terror. I imagine anyone who has ever looked through a microscope must have felt this, but I know of no one who has expressed it so well. Vivian.