26 sept. 2011

Bécquer, Newton and Duncan Dhu

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer was the last romantic poet of the XIX century. One of his poems says:

In the dark angle of the room
and perhaps forgotten by the owner,
silent and covered with powder, 
the harp was resting there.

How many notes were sleeping in the strings
as the bird sleeps in the branch! 
Notes waiting for the white hand
that knows how to extract them from the harp.
Oh! I thought. How many times the genius 
sleeps in this way, in the bottom of the soul?
waiting for a voice that says: Lazarus wait, 
Get up and walk!

Isaac Newton has been one of the greatest geniuses that the humanity has known. In his books ‘Principia’ he resumes the laws that describe the movement of the bodies (at higher sizes than the atomic ones and at velocities much lower than the light speed). In his book, the law of the universal gravitation appears, as well as the color theory, the body’s cooling law, the calculus invention, the measure of the terrestrial density… the physics and the mathematics that he constructed over the shoulders of giants. Nowadays this science is his legacy to the humanity.
However Newton was a man of a reserved and self-absorbed character, focused in his alchemy and politics problems. He had not been known without the help of his friend Edmond Halley (yes, that man of the comet) who encouraged him to publish his research.

Bécquer, the Spanish poet, was the top of the romanticism in the Spanish language. However he did not publish his poems while he was alive. His poems and other of his writing were known after a posthumous publication by his friend Ramón Rodríguez Correa.

The song of the 80s Spanish band Duncan Dhu used to say:

... the genius is dying in the shade without knowing
of his magic powers granted to him
long time ago before he was born…

How many geniuses the world has not known?
How many of them are still sleeping without hearing the voice saying: get up and walk?

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