Friday, June 09, 2006


One of my coworkers recently published his first novel. This auspicious event has gotten me thinking about my own earliest experiences with writing. (If I may shill for a moment, I found The Stolen Child to be insightful and entertaining. It grapples with the notion of identity and presents some original takes on relationships.)
When I was younger, I was a science devotee, a purest. I was entranced by physics and astronomy and loved their language, math. Having been raised by a biological database guru (before the term “bioinformatics” was common-parlance), with the cruel tutelage of an older brother who is an ascetic in the discipline of computer science, I learned that the sciences natural, hard, and applied, were the only avenues of learning.
I was blindsided in high school by finding fiction inside and outside of the classroom that actually got me thinking. Tragedy of tragedies, I was even taken-in by all the useless beauty of a poem. I started writing in lieu of doing banal homework assignments. There was as much wisdom in this pursuit as folly.
There would come a day that would change the universe, in which I realized the obvious course of combining writing with the love of science, but this is a story for another time. For now, I leave you with that first poem that as a very young person, caught my eye.

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

balloonMan whistles

- E. E. Cummings

1 comment:

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Well, if it's any consolation... I started out as a science major (MSc in ecology) and am now working as a programmer/database person. You can judge for yourself whether my poetry is any good :)

IMO, the discipline of science, and especially writing for science, has been invaluable to me... Precision. Brevity. _Significance_.