Physics and poetry are uncommon bedfellows, but Susannah Hart and Stav Poleg’s call-out earlier this year has created a Magma pulsing with philosophical vigour (and a few laughs too!) Poets include Vasiliko Albado, Claire Booker, Mark Fiddes, Martin Figura, Philip Gross, Ramona Herdman, Jan Heritage, Tania Hershman, NJ Hynes, Isabella Mead, Hilary Menos, Meredi Ortega, Paul Stephenson, Claudine Toutoungi and Rebecca Watts.
Many of the poets in this issue are scientist or mathematicians, including Ilse Pedler (veterinary surgeon), Ian Buchanan (X-ray imaging scientist), Lucy Calder (astrophysicist), Pippa Goldschmidt (astronomer), Kinneson Lalor and Chris Athorne (mathematicians). A reminder that poetry is not just the reserve of the literary set. Perhaps the arts would do well to become more literate in things scientific.
“As a temporal art that is often concise enough to be held on a single page and form its own unique visual structure, poetry is a perfect vehicle for the concepts of time and space,” write the editors in their intro. “The poem happens in time, as we read it; it keeps changing as we go along with it, and yet, at any time during the process, we can take a glimpse of its entirety. Moreover, in evoking memories, visual images and sounds, the poem may offer us a glimpse to the fact that time is, in fact, not linear.”
Alongside the poems, you can read thought-provoking features, including Lucy Sheerman on how her long-held desire to become an astronaut fed into the libretto she wrote for Peterborough Cathedral. Also, a fascinating exposition by Tania Hershman on the relationship between parts and wholes, in which she literally took literary works apart in her PHD thesis on ‘particle fiction’. Plus, of course, the usual reviews. To buy a copy of Magma (issue 84), take out a subscription, or check the next submissions window, click on the following link: www.magmapoetry.com
And here’s a chance to read my poem, Woman, life, freedom, which was published in The Morning Star on 24th November as their 21st Century Poetry poem of the week. It’s a response to the death of Mahsa Amini (seen right) in suspicious circumstances, following her arrest by the Iranian morality police for improper wearing of her hijab. Mass protests continue, despite harsh penalties.
Click here for the poem: https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/c/21st-century-poetry-woman-life-freedom