That common ground between poetry and science is what poet Jane Hirshfield sows with splendor in her poem “On the Fifth Day,” written for the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C., protesting the anti-fact, anti-truth, anti-science political climate of the current American administration. . On the fifth day the scientists who studied the rivers were forbidden to speak or to study the rivers.
The scientists who studied the air were told not to speak of the air, and the ones who worked for the farmers were silenced, and the ones who worked for the bees.
Someone, from deep in the Badlands, began posting facts.
The facts were told not to speak and were taken away. The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.
Now it was only the rivers that spoke of the rivers, and only the wind that spoke of its bees,
while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees continued to move toward their fruit.
The silence spoke loudly of silence, and the rivers kept speaking, of rivers, of boulders and air.
In gravity, earless and tongueless, the untested rivers kept speaking.