Title by David J.C. Fletcher
A Book of Sonnets
Scientific, Philosophical, and of Love and Loss
Released: December 2023
When they taught an interdisciplinary course on Science and Literature together at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, David Fletcher and his wife, Pauline, could find no suitable materials in the realm of poetry. This was not surprising, since declarative science is not the stuff of poetry. Nevertheless, when in retirement, Pauline, whom David has described as “the very light of my life”, became ill, he decided to write a few love poems to her. He chose to base them loosely on scientific themes and to reflect the rigorous nature of science in the rigorous poetic form of the Shakespearean sonnet. He very quickly found that he enjoyed writing “scientific sonnets” and when Pauline died, he continued with the project, while at the same time dealing with his grief by continuing to write sonnets on “love and loss.” He had no intention of publishing them, but several friends and colleagues urged him to do so.
Since not all readers can be expected to be familiar either with the sonnet form, or with the aspects of science some of the sonnets are about, the book includes prose chapters on the poetics of the sonnet, on the problem of free will, and on the deep questions of ultimate reality.