Literary Nook

March Right Out Write ‘Call and Response’

Posted on Mar 28 2023

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“If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.”
—Richard P. Feynman, professor of theoretical physics

For my last entry in March 2023 during International and CNMI Women’s Month, here is a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). She was a reclusive 19th-century poet who was born, lived, and died in the house she was born in. Interested readers can find many books and articles online written about her. She had only 10 poems published in her lifetime from over 1,800 written.

She wrote her poems down on paper and hand-sewed them into book form, which were found after she passed away. I have left the poem as she wrote it with capitalization and punctuation intact and in place.

This poem, “Forever – is composed of Nows –” was mentioned on a World Science Festival TV program hosted by Brian Greene (available on You Tube), the host of a series of Science lectures on current cosmology: the theory of relativity, the Big Bang, particle physics, and quantum theory.

A panel member, either Leonard Susskind (father of string theory) or Alan Guth (theoretical physicist and cosmologist), when asked to define “quantum theory,” said this poem by Emily Dickinson was close to a definition of it. I looked the poem up and accepted it as a “call” for understanding space-time continuum, which I’ve been studying since reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time,” both the original and revised versions. Emily would have known nothing about that, but she was thinking and writing about literal time, space, and the future.

Most leading 20th and 21st-century cosmology scientists and particle physicists say that Quantum Theory, when it may be combined with Einstine’s Theory of Relativity, will be the “Theory of Everything.” Many are working on it but most agree that Quantum Theory is very difficult to define. Interested readers may check out more about our universe with books written by Brian Greene, Sean Carroll, and Stephen Hawking, among others, to learn about our universe.

They may also check out wonderful unrelated poetry of Emily Dickinson.

This is a “call and response” poem. That is a group of poems that contain an earlier poem—the “call”—and one or more poems written in either “response” to or as variations of the earlier poem. So here is Emily Dickinson “calling” out from the 19th century and my “response”in the 21st century. I composed my poem as I read her poem line by line. For me she is the Queen of Outer Space.

Forever – is Composed of Nows 


Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Except for the Infiniteness –
And Latitude of Home –

From this – experienced Here –
Remove the Dates – to These –
Let Months dissolve in Further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years –

Without Debate – or Pause –
Or Celebrated Days –
No different our years would be
From Anno Dominies

Quantum Neverland Forever

Never decomposes at a steady pace inside space
its Longitude curves inside all universal light
to that proof there light years move from those
minutes that push to solve no less no more

Light years inhale and exhale ahead of time and go
on in a daily basis they flow through with photons
everything quickly changes as string theory ranges
in a microscopic Planck length an Annus Horribilis

Some things we’ll never know but we have to grow
tiny particles responsible for what we think and do
consciousness is particles moving through our mind
with an exquisite arrangement as opposed to a rock

Thus we receive all these in constant communion
as particles construct the very state of our union.

Joey aka Pepe Batbon Connolly is a retired educator who taught in the CNMI, NOLA, and LVNV. He is a sonnet practitioner who enjoys stargazing.


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