Ibn al Haytham - The First Scientist - Alhazen - Ibn al Haitham - Alhacen  


teaching an independent course
in the corner of the humanities building
spoke his native language
as if simultaneously decoding it.
“Dickinson’s poetry is a pocketful of silver—
all quarters, half dollars, and dimes,
no nickels or pennies among them.”
Hunched over the young woman’s text,
he probed each word and phrase
for buried music and sly allusions.
“Her cadence, here, like Edwards’,
her spider, like Edwards’,
like God.” He worked
as if lives depended on his precision,
as if barbarians could be heard advancing
through a distance of trees,
as if we were comrades in arms
who might be found out at any moment,
whose discoveries might shift a balance,
and whose time together in his sun-filled office
was somehow vitally important.

It was.

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