Song of Two Worlds

Song of Two Worlds

3.71 (63 ratings by Goodreads)
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"VERDICT A vivid and moving book-length narrative poem that places the reader inside of a universe of wonder; of interest to poetry readers and beyond." --Library Journal

From the author of international bestseller Einstein's Dreams and National Book Award nominee The Diagnosis.

After decades of living "hung like a dried fly," emptied and haunted by his past, the narrator, a man who has lost his faith in all things following a mysterious personal tragedy, awakens one morning revitalized and begins a Dante-like journey to find something to believe in, first turning to the world of science and then to the world of philosophy, religion, and human life. As his personal story is slowly revealed, little by little, we confront the great questions of the cosmos and of the human heart, some questions with answers and others without. An exciting new illustrated edition of a unique narrative poem.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 150 x 229 x 8mm | 227g
  • Pasadena, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 27 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1597090328
  • 9781597090322
  • 649,501

Review quote

"Here, novelist (Einstein's Dreams) and physicist Lightman has created a vivid and moving first-person narrative in verse. The two worlds of the title are the two sections of the book: "Questions with Answers" and "Questions without Answers," with the former representing scientific inquiry and the latter the intuitive capacity that allows us to respond to great art. But this work is no simple intellectual exercise--it is the story of a man who is exiled within his own country, whose intelligence and aloneness keep him perpetually knocking at the door "naked...wearing only my questions." Lightman names the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore as the inspiration for this work. For the nonscientists among us, Lightman has provided entry into a world to which we would otherwise have limited access. Several artfully placed photographs (in black and white in the text and in color on the cover) anchor the story into its setting and serve as found poems in their own right. VERDICT A vivid and moving book-length narrative poem that places the reader inside of a universe of wonder; of interest to poetry readers and beyond." --Library Journal

"Created by a man of science and art, Alan Lightman's work is a unique thing to behold. Song of Two Worlds is a collection of poetry from the physicist, as he blends his two disciplines well for a truly fascinating insight into the world around us. With fine verse, Song of Two Worlds is a top pick." --The Midwest Book Review

"This slim volume of narrative verse by the author of the bestselling book Einstein's Dreams is a bold move. The point, says arts/science polymath Alan Lightman, is to explore meaning and truth in science, but in the highly concentrated form only possible in verse. It pays off: 'There's no completion in mind / With its unending halls / Or electronic minds that have no belief.'" --NewScientist's CultureLab Science News Blog

"In taking on several more layers than the usual two-cultures debate-featuring works, and quite successfully dealing with them, Song of Two Worlds is a nice addition to the scientific-poetic library." --M. A. Orthofer, The Complete Review

"The book begins with an un-named protagonist finding himself suddenly moved to reexamine his life, both to confront past tragedies and failings and also to look for meaning. We overhear his thoughts as he uses his scientific skill to interrogate the mechanisms of the cosmos and the workings of his own body. When he reaches the limits of scientific 'questions with answers' he turns to 'questions without answers' which must be explored by faith, art or philosophy. Alongside rehearsals of insights by great thinkers and teachers we also get glimpses of the narrator's relationship with an old and loyal servant. This weaving of the lofty with the human and mundane is one of the more effective aspects of the book." --Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, London Mathematical Society
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Rating details

63 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 25% (16)
4 29% (18)
3 38% (24)
2 8% (5)
1 0% (0)
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