Thomas James Martin
Closing Monologue - Poem by Thomas James Martin
of The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
I was continuing to shrink, to become...
What? The infinitesimal?
What was I?
Still a human being?
Or was I the man of the future?
If there were other bursts of radiation,
other clouds drifting across seas and continents,
would other beings follow me into this vast new world?
So close, the infinitesimal and the infinite.
But suddenly I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept.
The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet,
like the closing of a gigantic circle.
I looked up,
as if somehow I would grasp the heavens, the universe,
worlds beyond number. God's silver tapestry spread across the night.
And in that moment I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite.
I had thought in terms of Man's own limited dimension.
I had presumed upon Nature.
That existence begins and ends is Man's conception, not Nature's.
And I felt my body dwindling,
melting, becoming nothing.
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