Friday, December 18, 2009

Science and Poetry Meet

Today was my annual eye exam and I was off to our splendid Henry Ford Eye Care clinic where my doctor, Dr. George, approved of all that he saw. (As an aside: I’m probably one of the very few people who have two doctors with the last name of George. The other one is my urologist. Something of an achievement for someone called Arsen.) The clinic is splendid because it serves fresh coffee and cookies, is pleasantly furnished with comfortable couches and armchairs overlooked by huge prints in frames holding good art. And, crowning glory for people like Brigitte and me, there is a large shelf full of books. These are contributed by patients. We’ve made our donations there. You can pick up a book and read it—and take it with you, for that matter. A large container will hold your donation if you care to make it.

Well, today, I found there a thick volume entitled The Norton Introduction to Literature. I picked it out from among a rich array of popular paperback novels. It looked decidedly uncomfortable. Third Edition, 1981, obviously a textbook, but its contents wonderfully rich. The routine at these eye exams is that the young lady takes me through the eye examination charts and then drips a chemical into the eyes to cause my pupils to dilate. Then twenty minutes are allowed for this process to take place. So… So, while I sat in my comfortable armchair sipping coffee and munching cookies, the art work grandly observing me from the nicely papered walls, I was studying Yeats’ poetry as my pupils grew ever larger, sailing to Byzantium, you might say, science and poetry magically conjoined.

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