The Age of the Universe


(“The age of the universe is about 109 years.” Rupert Sheldrake – The Science Delusion.)

How can this be right?
Three little digits,
so tiny, so tight.
To compress energy,
dark energy,
the speed of light,
dark matter,
all things bright
and beautiful,
all things
in our sight,
all things that we hear,
go back to the year,
go back to the minute,
the vertiginous limit,
the moment,
the instant,
it all began,
the Big Bang.
How can they do it,
those digits,
from Big Bang
to NOW?
Three little digits,
so tiny,
so tight.
How can they do it?
How can this be right?

The last book I read in 2017 was also, I think, the most stimulating, most interesting, most provocative book I read all year: The Science Delusion, by Rupert Sheldrake.  I found the arguments in the book – basically an attack on the materialistic, mechanistic views of Richard Dawkins – so convincing that I shall no doubt be returning to the book in future posts.  Suffice it for now to mention that just one of the fascinating facts I came across in the book was that the age of the universe could be expressed in the three digits signifying ten to the power of nine.  I did a double-take, looked again at the three tiny digits, and suddenly the ideas for the above poem came flooding into my head.


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