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Friday, 28 November 2014

Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle: Of Many Worlds in This World


The Earring: George Hendrik Breitner, c. 1893, oil on canvas, 85 x 58 cm (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam)

Just like as in a Nest of Boxes round,
Degrees of sizes within each Boxe are found.
So, in this World, may many Worlds more be
Thinner, and lesse, and lesse still by degree;
Although they are not subject to our Sense,
A World may be no bigger than two-pence.
Nature is curious, and such worke may make,
That our dull Sense can never finde, but scape.
For Creatures, small as Atomes, may be there,
If every Atome a Creatures Figure bear.
If four Atomes a World can make, then see
What severall Worlds might in an Eare-ring be:
For Millions of those Atomes may bee in
The Head of one small, little, single Pin.
And if thus small, then Ladies may well wear
A World of Worlds, as Pendents in each Eare. 

Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673): Of Many Worlds in This World, from Poems and Fancies, 1653


Sandra said...

love this poem and its amazing revelation

TC said...

Thanks very much, Sandra.

Lady Margaret was called "Mad Madge" in her (too short) day, but she had quite the inquiring mind, never ceased to be interested in deep particle physics (!), and, in 1653, actually published a whole book of poems entirely concerning atoms and their motion.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Pardon my punning, Tom, but this rings very true to the ear--a very pleasant surprise,indeed.

TC said...


Her atomic poems are astonishing. Huuklyen Cinquor would turn green. She believed atoms have... are you ready for this... points. You know those royalists. She was aeons ahead of her time, at the very least.