One of the things that define science is how universal it is. It is essentially the observation of nature to some huge extent. Sure, there are perspectives in many scientific findings. Even, science teaches us about perspectives. But the universal property is quite innate to science. Ricky Gervais eloquently summed it up in this video:
What he says is:
You see, if we take something like any fiction, any holy book, and any other fiction and destroyed it, in a thousand years time that wouldn’t come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book and every fact and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they’d all be back, because all the same tests would be the same result.
This is quite thought-provoking and he is spot on with it. Even if you delete all the scientific books, the scientific truths won’t change. Force will always be equal to mass times the acceleration. Speed will always be equal to distance divided by the time taken to travel the same. They are universal truths. Now, this got me thinking about poetry and the science in it.
A large part of poetry involves correlating one’s feelings with natural objects. Be it Pablo Neruda’s “And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture” or Javed Akhtar’s “Kabhi yun bhi to ho...ye naram mulaayam thandi havaayen..jab ghar se tumhaare guzaren, tumhaari khushboo churaayen…mere ghar le aayen” (Eng: Sometimes this should happen..when this soft tender cool breeze passes your house, it steals your fragrance and brings it to my house..). All the great poets have used nature and natural phenomena as the object of writing. My hypothesis is this: Even if we destroy all the books of poems, we will have similar things coming back to us. Nature won’t change. The rivers will continue to flow. The wind will have its fragrance. And the poets, with their pensive hearts, will observe and write about them.
This all came to my mind on a fine evening when I was coming back from the office while humming a Beatles song: You never gave me your money. There is a line in that song that goes: “Oh, that magic feeling… Nowhere to go, nowhere to go…”. Now, this has a striking resemblance with a line from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “Dui Bigha Jomi” (My little plot of land): “I consoled myself: God has decided not to confine me to this small plot of land; Perhaps I am fated to roam far and wide and end up in some distant strand.” They are eerily similar in a sense. And the chances of the Fab Four not coming across Tagore’s Dui Bigha Jomi is also high. Then how is the similarity? It is because (IMO) poetry captures these universal feelings of the human race. And these feelings will stay the same as long as there is this universe. As long as there is nature. And that’s the reason, I believe, even if you destroy everything, there might well be another Neruda in the future who will write: “I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees…” or something in that line.