Confused at a higher level

The view from Carleton College's physics department

  • Archives

  • Stats

    var sc_project=3293756; var sc_invisible=0; var sc_partition=21; var sc_security="d61881ba";
    free hit
counter
  • Subscribe

  • Recent Posts

  • Follow me on Twitter

Relativity poem

Posted by Arjendu on March 11, 2008

Here’s a poem from one of my students, Meaghan Foster.
I stand upon this face of earth, this cliff.
You speed by sudden, slender, contracted
like the quintessential caterpillar, afraid
that my outstretched arms will catch you tight.
We fear different things; we both think they are true.
I see you as you see me: shrinking, dissolving into this relative world.

If you accelerate away from me now, if you find another orbit
someday years later when you return
you may find me old and gray, closer to death than you—
having measured my life by different increments,
obeyed the ticking of another clock.

And when you have stretched the taffy surface of space-time to extremes,
when you have twined it supple and compliant round your firmly fleshed finger,
will you then (although, what is ‘then’ to us?)
will you then stay on earth as I blast away,
to wait until we are brought back into alignment
so that we may again meet at a coordinated intersection of time and space?

The other shoe will drop, be it by gravity or acceleration.
It makes no difference; the outcome will be the same.
Light will move at speed c—more constant than love
and sharing a reference frame will be but a dream.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: