Michael Philips

Einstein’s Mistake - Poem by Michael Philips

I have a unified field theory too,
because I like the word “field”
with its grasses and wind in my hair.

My unified field theory is
written in the gravity of phrases
scribbled in ink by technicians and lovers,
longing for meaning in glass containers,
hunting for new DNA strains
that sweep and swoon like violins
and can link that first pungent smell
of the garlic squeezed in the press
to the idea of a constantly expanding universe.

Of course it’s expanding.
How could Einstein have thought otherwise?
That he got it wrong is hardly comforting.
The aging star, sniffing at quantum upstarts,
craving a unity based on geometry,
infusing newfound meaning in
a shape from a child’s coloring book or
a passenger’s wave behind glass
from a departing train.

Comments about Einstein’s Mistake by Michael Philips

  • ... ... (1/25/2006 4:55:00 PM)

    This is unlike nearly all of your poems in certain ways. It’s more serious but doesn’t lose the light touch eg a child’s colouring book. Technicians and lovers is a great bit of language. I don’t know if the full stop on the first line was an accident because you don’t normally start new sentences in lower case but if it was a mistake I suggest you leave it because I enjoyed the effect; it knocked me out of my expected rhythm from the get-go and increased my concentration and began the intriguing game between reader and poet. The last line is as Jefferson would say ‘an absolute beauty’, it is like an image out of Ashbery, a passive air, hint of trapped emotion, a haunting beauty. There is more to say about the poem, each line deserves comment, the overall subject is very strong. The bit of language I maybe object to is ‘crescendo like violins’ though maybe that’s just me and my preferences in language; I’d have something more anti-climatic than ‘crescendo’. (Report)Reply

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    I take my hat off to you, Michael, over this one! This is a beautiful poem - full of music and shades of science (my favorite thing) -. A Grand Unified Theory (GUT) ....that got me right in the gut too. Bravo. (Report)Reply

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  • Chuck Audette (1/24/2006 10:05:00 AM)

    Strikes a sympathetic chord with me (even though you didn't mention string theory) . Dang zoning boards won't be happy until human suburbian developments expand faster than the universe. -chuck (Report)Reply

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  • Lori Boulard (1/24/2006 7:50:00 AM)

    This is right up my alley, intertwining 'serious' and childhood images. I really loved this one. Cheers, Lori (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Poem Edited: Monday, July 7, 2008

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