Sunday, December 24, 2006

dirac on poetry

Paul Dirac's comment on the difference between science and poetry is

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.

With a slightly different emphasis this doesn't need to be seen as such an insult to poetry. Maybe poetry shows something known in a new light, or perhaps connects the known to the unknown, mysterious.
From the small amount I know about Dirac, I would think he might admit to the value of this sense of poetry in physics, the connecting of something small, well-delineated and clear, to a larger, richer, more amorphous body of material. He's been refered to as a magician, and perhaps this is a key to that magic.

2 comments:

Sarah said...

This isn't related to your post, but it's a convenient place to write. I think you were telling me about David Lynch's connection to the TM movement once, and this article kind of touches upon that:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/31/fashion/31lynch.html

Hope you're enjoying CA.

Boaz said...

Hey, thanks Sarah.
The article has some misleading aspects to it, such as describing Maharishi living in a log house. I believe he lives in an enormous mansion. I suppose that mansion could have some logs in it?

Yeah, its good to be in CA. Wish I had time to make it down to San Diego!