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In the Microscope -- Miroslav Holub

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.
-- Miroslav Holub
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.

20 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Gwilym Williams said...

A wonderful Miroslav Holub poem is The Fly. The fly meditates on the immortality of flies before being eaten by a swift.

David Holub said...

To Change,
Warm within my mother womb
Spiritually awaken to another life
Given free will only to take unseen paths
To correct my steps but unable to move time
Internal battles continue
Peace escapes me once again
Enchanted dreams I taste
I thirst and cannot be quenched
What will be I will seen within
I live again

David C. Holub

Texastar Facility Services, Inc.
2909 Hillcroft Suite 265
Houston, TXofficecellfax

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