The Sciences

Cosmic Gall

Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollJul 28, 2005 9:10 PM

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I figured, for the first poem on the new blog, why not go for something topical? By John Updike.

Neutrinos they are very small. They have no charge and have no mass And do not interact at all. The earth is just a silly ball To them, through which they simply pass, Like dustmaids down a drafty hall Or photons through a sheet of glass. They snub the most exquisite gas, Ignore the most substantial wall, Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass, Insult the stallion in his stall, And, scorning barriers of class, Infiltrate you and me! Like tall And painless guillotines, they fall Down through our heads into the grass. At night, they enter at Nepal And pierce the lover and his lass From underneath the bed â€" you call It wonderful; I call it crass.

Of course, we now know that they do have mass; fortunately, poetry does not have a tradition of submitting errata.

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