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The Eyes of Isaac Newtown by Iggy McGovern

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In his fourth collection of poems, poet & physicist Iggy McGovern lets art and science intermingle in poems that range from the domestic to the ekphrastic, from the celebratory to the elaboratory. With trademark formality he runs his eye over an array of themes, some familiar, some less so, allowing for both conversation and collision: An epistolary paean to fellow Ulsterman Seamus Heaney borrows a Latin quotation from a letter by Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton to William Wordsworth; the early history of the quantum revolution is mapped out in clerihew form, and Schrödinger’s cat takes up the position of tourguide in the famous box. The poet’s failure to write “a real love poem” and a childhood memory of near-accidental loss of eyesight are both, somehow, science’s fault. And through it all the eyes have it, narrowing, singing, weeping and (given the right conditions) dilating into Black Holes.

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