Ceaselessly he blazed the trail:
Light as a feather over hill and dale
Alone always ahead of the crowd!
Travelling light! Nothing faster allowed.
He went where he needed. New ground,
Always new ground. No sound!
No eating no sleeping, searching to find,
Thoughts? No! profounds of mind!*
No explanations! Intuition he needs.
No one to talk to, onwards he leads!
Hypotheses, models and explanation ;
Abstractions, predictions and replication.
Logic and mathematics a new realm define.
Negative space the Mirror never need refine,
Unimagined, unseen, inverted but whole,
No longer a part. He found his soul.
All in their dreams can reach this door
But nobody had ever passed through before.
No Grants to write or papers to publish.
Now to distinguish the truth from the rubbish.
* See ‘Ohio Impromptu‘ Samuel Beckett.
+ A general view of what some researcher’s inner lives are like, but also might apply to explorers, sportsmen and women, indeed anyone who reaches their limit and goes beyond. The writer Samuel Beckett described it in perhaps a more general context. A researcher who came to mind was Paul Dirac whose mathematical logic forced him to predict the existence of antimatter before it was found experimentally. ‘His’ equation is at the top of the poem.