Sunday, December 21, 2008


Einstein's Daughter

Had she been clock or apple,
compass or moving train,
perhaps Einstein would have loved her.

Had she been mysterious,
he might have abandoned
his affair with gravity and the speed of light

and claimed her
as his most important discovery.
Had he taken her small hands, just once,

and kissed each dimple and nail
perhaps he would have puzzled
over a different theory of relativity,

not of black holes,
but of DNA and blood,
how shared time multiplies

and love's abstractions find
definition in bath time and story time
and leaving the light on, just in case.

Instead, Einstein gave his daughter away,
locked himself in a windowless room
with his violin and pipe,

unlocked the secrets
not of life
but of E=mc2.

- Irene Latham

Did you know Einstein had a daughter? Yes, Mileva gave birth before she and Albert were married. Quite the scandal, of course... and easier (apparently) to relinquish the girl than raise her.

This poem is the second (of two) that appeared this month in the wonderful little journal FREE LUNCH. It is merely my imagination at work after reading a coupla biographies and viewing this exhibit.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."

- Albert Einstein

1 comment:

  1. This poem, Irene, is so very beautiful and so very sad. I am sure his daughter would love to see her feelings put into poetry.


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