Dear Richard,

Here is the entire poem. I would love it if you explain more about how the various reference frames are involved and what MacDiarmid may be referencing. (I"m embarrassed that my spelling was off, since I have known this poem for decades. AND I even misquoted and did not see it. Alas. But I would love more on it.

Empty Vessel by Hugh MacDiarmid
I met ayont the cairney
A lass wi tousie hair
Singin till a bairnie
That was nae langer there.

Wunds wi warlds to swing
Dinna sing sae sweet,
The licht that bends owre aa thing
Is less ta’en up wi’it.

On Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 6:17 PM Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Yes.   MacDiarmid seems to be writing about things in separate reference frames.  Special relativity is all about the relationships of the speed of light in various reference frames.

Interestingly, as all know, the speed of light is a constant whatever reference frame is used.  How is this?  Well, time is NOT a constant but varies.  This makes reading Eliot especially interesting.  “Time present and time past”

Sent from my iPad

On Feb 18, 2019, at 3:32 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Dear Richard,

Thanks, that was my point. There is no conflict between math and poetry, quite the opposite. If it sounded as if I meant anything other, I didn't write it clearly.
Anyway, I'm sure calculus students could coexist beautifully with Eliot.

There is a MacDiarmid poem that has a very mysterious ending, and a scientist once wrote to me that he must have recently read Einstein. The last lines are as follows:

Wunds wi' worlds to swing
Dinnae sing so sweet.
The lift that hangs oer a' thing,
Is less ta'en up wi'it.

That is from memory. But "wunds" is "winds"; 'Dinnae " is "did not"; "lift" is the sky; and "ta'en" is "taken."

Does that have some resonance you see with science?
P. S. MacDiarmid wrote many late poems he called poems of fact and they have a lot of science. The most magnificent is probably "On a Raised Beach."

On Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 5:19 PM Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I have taken plenty of calculus and without it would not be able to study, or better yet try to learn, quantum field theory.

I also study poetry. 

As I believe Eliot, or was it Pound, once said and I paraphrase, metrics are everything.  

Einstein played a decent violin and wrote a book explaining special relativity using one equation.  That equation uses only algebra.

Richard Feynman (won the Nobel in 1965 and originated the theory of quantum electrodynamics) played bongo drums at a near professional level and linked quantum mechanics to special relativity.

Sent from my iPad

On Feb 18, 2019, at 1:57 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I would like to think calculus students can also love poetry and philosophy. And poets can love math and science.
Think of the Metaphysicsls.

I don't see any reason to see Eliot as more reflective than other poet. 

On Mon, Feb 18, 2019, 11:48 AM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask] wrote:
By calculus students, yes. 


On Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 11:07 AM Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Summing infinities done all the time by freshman calculus students.

Sent from my iPad

On Feb 18, 2019, at 8:52 AM, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Imagine measuring out the ocean with coffee spoons! 
Infinitude baffles. 

“Do I dare / Disturb the universe?”


On Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 9:03 AM Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
On Sun, 17 Feb 2019 12:45:40 -0500, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]>


The caption: "I have measured out my life with coffee spoons"
The picture: The sea
My take:  Eternal life (how else do you fill the sea one coffee spoon at
a time?)

   Rick Parker