The importance of research

February 18th, 2014, 6pm

Just as acts of maintenance might be called poetic, poetry can be seen as maintenance. The world needs maintenance like any other machine. Physical matter needs order. The engineer wants to structure reality according to man’s needs. The engineer’s work is intrinsically beautiful, even if it serves despicable needs.

Yet the poet, as a mechanic, does his or her level best to maintain the order of possibilities. There are many, many possibilities, so there can be even more poems. How many? How finely can spacetime be minced?

Related in this complicated way, engineers and poets are sworn enemies till the end of spacetime, if there is any. I’m glad I’m not an engineer. I suck at math, plus I couldn’t bear the moral burden of serving despicable needs.

Any poem worth its salt adds a refreshing nuance to the order of possibilities. Great poets can maintain nations possibility-wise, whole continents even. I can maintain a patch of grass, or a staircase in a house, or a single face. I can do that.

Really great poetry is nearly as fast as light. Bad poetry just stinks. I hope my poetry doesn’t stink.

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is such a powerful maintenance device. Somebody should write a really good poem about it, to maintain it poetically.

All of the above is not entirely true, but it might serve as a starting point for further research.

Philippe, Ragini, David Wade, Cassie and 1 more said thanks.

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Marcus Hammerschmitt

Writer, journalist and photographer. Eighteen books so far, on paper and on screen. My biography is boring, my life is not.

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