I. The Ancient Gods
O Muse, sing to me of the greatest tales,
Of stormy winds and bellowing sails
The art and song of philology,
And the changing gods of philosophy.
Bring me poems of epic Calliope,
And from Urania the tales of astronomy.
Tell me the tales of the changing deities,
And keep my words in endless eternities.
But such gods there were long before You,
You muses with such stories You drew.
The gods who began it were not of Your world,
And now let us have the story unfurled.
The story begins in ancient Eridu
Where the chaotic gods ruled, Tiamat and Apsu.
As in every tale great battles took place,
The great Marduk won, Tiamat fell in disgrace.
By the skill of Marduk the earth was formed,
With Tiamat’s entrails it was adorned.
Many gods like this came to be,
Who formed the earth, the sky, and sea.
In ancient Egypt, in the sky there held
Ancient gods in Thuban dwelled,
From Sirius watched the mystic Isis,
And from mighty Orion watched wise Osiris.
And these the ancients saw where they lie,
From Giza could be seen the endless sky.
And in the north more gods did come,
In ancient Greece where You are from.
They say it began in Chaotic abyss,
And by Gaia came Uranus and Tartarus.
Uranus the starry sky wed Gaia the steady earth,
And to their children and Your families did they give birth.
You and they ruled for ever so long,
The heavens and earth rang with Your song.
But alas Your time came to an end,
As the minds of the ancients began to bend,
Their minds turned from idolatry
And came to the world of philosophy.
II. The Gods of Philosophy
In the world of thought there came to be
A new view, the philosophic deity.
Socrates’ pupil, Plato, was tasked
To answer a new question that had been asked,
Outside where planets, stars, and heavens whirled
Could there be another world?
But God created a single eternity
And rested in the unchanging Unity.
For God’s idea was whole and spherical
And based on the views that were empirical.
But Aristotle, his student, said
That’s not how the universe must be read,
For him there were no omnipotents,
For the segments of the universe lay in the elements.
Aristotle agreed also with his mentor
Of the universe being one and having only one center,
But that the elements moved in their own ground
With earth at the center and water around,
With air taking up the vastness of the sky,
And fire, the lightest, as comets do fly.
These were the forces that Aristotle knew
And the popularity of his ideas grew,
But the problem grew of an unexplained notion,
The issue and observance of retrograde motion.
This seemed to be solved by another man
Later who had a model and a plan,
This the man who long prevailed
Was the scientist Ptolemy, who from Egypt hailed.
His model then consisted of
The planets and the stars above,
With the earth still in the middle
Ptolemy solved the retrograde riddle.
Around the earth lay the deferent
On which the journey of the planets went,
And with the new epicycle it was found
That on the deferent the planets go round,
And so on their own revolutions the planets traveled
They appeared to go backwards, and the riddle was unraveled.
And thus was restored the idea of the almighty,
Who rested in the universe of endless eternity.
III. The Gods of Rebirth
In the beginnings of the Renaissance
Some began to take a different stance,
The God of heaven still ruled in might,
But there were still questions that needed light.
Great minds then began to stray
To think of what is night and what is day,
Of how the sun really moves and where it does go,
If the earth is still or moves to and fro.
They thought earth was still, as the church always does,
But that wise old fool saw it for what it was.
The universe still moved as a sphere,
But the earth was not the center here,
And the great God was still in place,
But the church laughed in the old fool’s face,
For Copernicus’ model of this glorious rebirth
Did not show the favored, centered Earth.
And so for now it did seem
That Copernicus’ model was simply a dream,
And the model that Ptolemy before attempted
Was the model that was then accepted.
Then another came forth to say
That Copernicus’ model was the right way,
For the wise Galileo Galilei
Also saw the truth in the night and day.
He knew that the earth moved as the planets above
As he observed Your sister, named for Love.
But again the observations were disputed
And his theories of the world refuted,
For the church had stubbornly noted
And from the Bible texts they quoted
That the observations of this man
Went against the Almighty’s plan.
But in the end were they such gods to say
What in scripture was the absolute way?
IV. The Gods of the Revolution
Not long after, thoughts took a different way
People’s minds being molded like clay
By thoughts of God and the secrets of movement,
Though You would not say it is much improvement.
Through the minds of these geniuses there later came
A god, a force, with a different name.
This was no more the God of conventionality,
But the new God of rationality.
A man whose life devoted to study
And the secretive field of alchemy
Sat under a tree to rest his head,
But an apple fell on it instead.
And in this great Newton saw what came to be
The theory of the force of gravity.
Now Newton was a God-fearing man
Who devoted himself to God’s eternal plan,
And with this apple that lead him to gravity,
So too it gave him the Knowledge of God’s reality.
God was infinite in the timeless infinity,
And rested eternal in the universe eternity,
For this system could only be under governance of
That intelligent and powerful being that presided above.
But the apple would turn the tides
And make Newton see what force resides,
For while God is the infinite and present being,
The eternity of gravity is what he was seeing.
This force, unlike God, could be calculated and marked,
And this gravity the revolution sparked,
For the motions of the universe could now be defined
And the chaotic ideas of science refined.
V. The Gods of New Science
With the news of gravity having grown
Some expected the fuss of it to settle down,
But there were more who were not satisfied
Until all the forces of the universe were identified.
One such force was discovered to be
A product of magnetism and electricity.
Two most important minds in this field to this day
Are the scientists Maxwell and Faraday.
Faraday knew the nature of magnetic fields,
And discovered a charged force that the magnetic field wields,
Through his experiment with wire and ferrum
He showed that the currents did come from
A changing magnetic field
In which that electric current it did wield.
This study took place through many a brain,
But the ultimate conclusion Maxwell did explain.
He took the techniques of Faraday’s scrutiny,
And introduced electromagnetism as lines of geometry.
His equations on Faraday’s works made right
That the speed of electromagnetic waves was the same as light.
And this discovery of electromagnetic phenomena
Set the course on track for particles and quanta.
Light on its own was a god to them too
As it provided the answers to things in this view,
Especially to Einstein who would soon detect
The energy of the photoelectric effect.
Light was originally thought just a wave,
But it was not just so in the explanation Einstein gave,
For when a wave of light hits an atom in metal
Into electron and photon particles the energy did settle.
And so now this great force of electromagnetics and light
Has created new gods with such different might.
You might not consider these to be gods at all,
For these many gods are incredibly small.
It was before thought the atom was the smallest there was,
But it was found that smaller particles were their cause.
I have already noted photon of light and atom’s electron,
But the atom also had positive proton and neutral neutron.
There were other particles other than these,
That fell into two categories:
Fermions are the most typical,
The electron, quark, and neutrino particles.
Bosons carry the forces of the universe
That through space and matter they do traverse,
Because of their force, and the distances traveled,
The mystery of the universe could be unravelled.
These particles and energy give the universe the possibility
Of being formed in the Big Bang Theory.
This explosion of one super god
Gave way to formation of smaller ends and odds,
Hot and red the universe started out,
But cools as the energy spread about.
With the particles moving in its extensity,
Another godly force pulls matter away from gravity.
But what was the cause of this grand explosion,
The great force behind this creation?
The cause of this belongs to three deities,
The Inflation, Dark Energy, and String Theories.
These theories could explain multiple worlds also,
Upon which Plato struck a forceful blow,
He said because of the Unity there could be no such instances,
But even these theories are saving the appearances.
For Dark Energy cannot be seen or calculated,
And the vibrations of String Theory cannot be demonstrated.
The Inflation of the Big Bang can still be seen
As an indicator of what may have been.
Though while the other theories cannot work on their own,
Against each other they can be shown,
For the appearances are saved when they work together,
But no measurements can yet be seen in this endeavor.
And so because these ideas can only be stated,
The gods of the multiverse cannot be demonstrated.
For now, it seems, these endeavors have come to an end,
But who knows where this story will bend,
For there are so many more gods to discover,
Many forces and particles to uncover.
You, O Muses, should have no fear,
For the story does not end here,
For You, You are not all gone,
You are the new generation that moves science on,
You make progress on the strange and the new,
And for Your work, we praise You.
©Abigail Siegel, 2015
Since I haven’t had a chance to write many new things lately, I decided to go through some of my old poems, and found this gem among them. I wrote this poem as a final project for my history of science course in college, and I still can’t believe I wrote such a long poem, and all in rhyme. I had a lot of fun writing it back then, and I hope you all enjoy reading it now!