The following is a poem by Richard P. Feynman who was a brilliant experimental physicist, an inspirational teacher, a philosopher, a poet, an artist and an accomplished bongo player. He taught and inspired a new generation of scientists and philosophers and maybe even a musician or two. But it is as an artist I have been propelled along by his question: ‘Is no one inspired by our present picture of the Universe? This value of science remains unsung by singers, you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age. What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?’.
….I stand at the seashore, alone, start to think
There are the rushing waves, mountains of molecules
Each stupidly minding its own business
Trillions apart, yet forming white surf in unison
Ages on ages, before any eyes could see
Year after year, thunderously pounding the shore as now
For whom, for what?
On a dead planet, with no life to entertain
Never at rest, tortured by energy
Wasted prodigiously by the sun, poured into space
A mite makes the sea roar
Deep in the sea all molecules repeat
the patterns of one another
till complex new ones are formed.
They make others like themselves
and a new dance starts.
Growing in size and complexity
Living things, masses of atoms DNA, protein
Dancing a pattern ever more intricate.
Out of the cradle onto dry land
Here it is standing:
Atoms with consciousness; matter with curiosity
Stands at the sea, wonders at wondering
I, a universe of atoms,
An atom in the universe.
– Richard Feynman