“Six Easy Pieces”, a Lecture by Richard Feynman

A brisk nod; it goes without saying,

without even the prod of time’s titular arrow,

that when Richard Feynman knocks

then philosophers complain,

lack the comprehension

of all the strange things one must accept

to merely apprehend his quantum universe;

then we (we intellectuals) press buttons that should open our minds,

and obediently, submissively, bob our heads,

with emphatic, and seriously sagacious symmetry.

So fully must one be at one with this fellow,

this neighbor, almost, from Rockaway Beach, Long Island,

with whom, it would have been un-scientific,

and so sinful, to disagree.

It is interesting, isn’t it, the way

we set such figures, so close, and yet so distant:

as cynosures, heroes, criteria of truth.

In each age, in practically every

generation, there are one or two,

whose portrayal, halos screwed into place, eyes like nearby stars,

asparkle beneath the Klieg lights,

are our modern versions of the Olympian gods,

as that which justifies and gives meaning to the species.