Sir Isaac Newton (1643 –1727)
"Newton was not the first of the age of reason: he was the last of the magicians."
– John Maynard Keynes.
When Isaac closes his eyes
he is hanging, arms outstretched
only faith keeps him
from falling – a magic trick.
In his left hand is the Book of Revelations
in the right, the Book of Nature,
written in geometry.
He opens his eyes to take note
of God’s will in action. Observations
must be interpreted –
bodies in motion, fruit from the tree.
Reclusive, he experiments upon himself,
slides a bodkin into his eye socket
between eyeball and bone
until he sees severall white darke
& coloured circles.
Sibyls and Daemons
are still close enough
for him to hear their voices.
The sun rises so slowly it’s too hard
to pick the moment of first light
or the last of the night’s magic.
Helen Heath 2009
Read this poem and more in Sport 38 in shops from 1 May 2010.
For more Tuesday Poems go to the Tuesday Poem blog.