Science as inspiration.

A few words about what inspired me to write the poem about dark matter, and why I am so interested in it.

‘The Dark’ is about the scientific enigma, dark matter. Phillip Pullmans trilogy His Dark Materials are a brilliant example of how creativity and science can go hand in hand. Holding the image of Pullmans ‘dust’ in my mind that acts as a version of dark matter in his trilogy, I wanted to reflect the same immense wonder that his books made me feel, in my poem. The idea of something that is there but that we can’t see is one of the universes biggest paradoxes, I wanted to convey this in my poem without saying it plainly. I used words and phrases such as ‘Shadows’ ‘blank pages’ ‘invisible dust’ to do this. My poem is in free form, mainly because I wanted the sentence lengths to mimic the to and fro of energy waves or light waves; I hope when viewed as a whole piece the long then short, long then short sentence format will reflect this idea.

I am an avid follower of the world of science. When the news about cosmic inflation came out and there was all the excitement to do with it, possibly, backing up multiverse theory I was so so excited. I find that we are constantly trying to prove/disprove things and trying to find the definite answer for things, which sometimes I enjoy, however the fact that there is something out there that we can’t fully explain, we can’t fully prove or disprove, I think is wonderful. I am fascinated by those things in our universe that don’t fully understand yet, mainly because it leaves so many options for what could be the right answer.

Some people, look up at the stars and see too much, its too huge, and thinking about the universe and the infinite numbers of galaxies with worlds and suns within them makes them almost feel panic, or at least unease; because it is just too big. For me, the idea that there isn’t anything out there, that it ends at our galaxy, or even more terrifying, our solar system, that is what scares me. I can’t fathom the idea that this is as far as it goes, in my mind the potential for life, new worlds and discovery is infinite, and we have only just begun to understand the universe. Ordinary matter, that is what light can pass through and therefore we see it, makes up 5% of the universe. FIVE PERCENT. That’s, stars, galaxies, mountains, the oceans…Only 5%. The rest is a mixture of dark matter (which we pretty much know exists because of how ordinary matter reacts to it) and dark energy (which we know near to nothing about). Knowing that the entirety of life in its full is only 5% of what is out there fascinates me and I want to share that fascination.



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