Poem — C K Stead

A matter of time

When I was young it was C.P. Snow averred
anyone who did not know the Second Law
of Thermodynamics was uneducated.

‘Two Cultures’ was his bag and what he wanted
was scientists reading poems, Arts chaps Maths
in lunch breaks and on the beaches in summer.

So I learned it and was briefly, you could say,
educated’ until, like so much else,
the discriminating brain discarded it.

But there is a shadow of it lingers still –
something about the universe winding down,
and how we can’t drive history in reverse

because of entropy, which means the world’s end
is only, you could say, a matter of time!
The comprehending stars which know this Law

are sad about it and don’t burn so brightly.
The birds too are affected in their singing,
less jubilant in spring; and even my cat

dislikes it when I mention Thermodynamics,
its Second Law, and twin-cultured C.P. Snow
who thought this something a clever cat should know.

 

C K Stead

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