Back to Black: revisiting dark matter and poetry.

Last year, in the early summer after I had completed my dissertation for Uni, I had one last creative writing portfolio to complete. This portfolio ended up taking the form of a collection called ‘Documents on The Mysteries of Dark Matter’, comprising of experimental poetry that focused on the idea of dark matter, dark energy and the possibilities in the universe they provide: parallel/multiple hidden universes, to name a few.

Now, nearly a year later I am revisiting this collection I started with a finished collection in mind for the end of summer. In my previous poems for this collection I had made broader, speculative comments on what dark matter is and what it could mean for us, as humans. New research, that I only found out about a couple of days ago, is now making exciting steps towards solidifying what dark matter is and what it’s made of. The research is being headed by Professor Priyamvada Natarajan of the astrophysics department at Yale, which as always, is fantastic seeing women now being such a vital part of the world of science and by extension, part of improving humanity’s understanding of our universe in general. These new findings map out how the particles making up dark matter behaves, most importantly in regards to whether the particles making up dark matter is cold dark matter (CDM) or hot dark matter (HDM). If it is CDM this means it will be moving very slowly relatively to the speed of light, in contrast HDM will move very near to the speed of light.

I try to keep up with the research being slowly formed on the nature of dark matter as much as possible; so believe me, this is huge.

With this in mind, I think it would be really interesting to try and create a few poems for my collection that delve into the inner workings of dark matter, or at least what the inner workings could be: it’s always coulds, what’s and ifs with dark matter, but I’m ok with that.

Previously, I have written poems that play with form on the page and presentation – a big part of my collection that I started for uni was the use of white space and how white space in poetry mirrors dark matter’s role in the universe – which eventually resulted in my poem ‘Shadow Galaxy’. I ended up spending hours on this poem, trying to make it look like a spiral galaxy (I went a tad crazy). So, I was thinking, could I replicate these ideas of form, white space and dark matter into three poems that put my original poems under the microscope, exploring what might be in a dark matter particle?

This will involve a poem that will (hopefully) end up looking like an atomic structure. So keep your eyes peeled for some drafts over the next few weeks!

I’m going to continue researching into dark matter and I’ll be back soon with another idea for this collection, I’m sure. The best thing about writing poetry about dark matter is that new ideas and research for it seem to be infinite.

P.s what do you think to mixing science and poetry? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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