Sir Isaac Newton

This poem is an abbreviated sketch of the high points of the scientific career of Sir Isaac Newton (born in Woolsthorpe near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England on December 25, 1642; died Kensington, March 20, 1727). Born on a farm, it was realized at an early age that Isaac was not cut out for farming. In 1661, he enrolled in Trinity College, Cambridge University. A partial list of Isaac's accomplishments includes:

This poem was first published in the March/April 1998 issue of Quantum Magazine.

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Sir Isaac Newton
Copyright 1997 David Arns
Under a spreading apple tree,
    The village genius stands;
His mind conceives of wondrous things,
    He writes them with his hands;
His fame goes forth to all the world--
    He's known in many lands.

A tiny babe on Christmas Day
    in 1642
Was born to Mrs. Newton
    while outside, the cold winds blew.
And on the farm, through childhood,
    precocious Isaac grew.

And after chores, he built devices
    to see just how they worked,
To see what laws of nature
    underneath the workings lurked.
(When people called them "toys," that's what
    got Isaac really irked.)

His mother saw he was no farmer,
    sent him off to school;
He quickly showed at Cambridge
    that he was nobody's fool:
He began to bring to light the laws
    that all of nature rule.

In one chapter in his story
    (though apocryphal, it's said),
An apple, falling from a tree
    impacted on his head,
Which drew his thoughts to gravity,
    and we all know where that led.

He wondered if, by any chance,
    the self-same gravitation
That pulls an apple to the ground,
    affected all creation:
The moon, the planets, and the sun. . .
    Thus went his cogitation.

He determined that the gravity
    of earth indeed controls
The orbit of our moon, as 'round
    the earth it ever rolls.
Now, describing it mathematically
    was one of Newton's goals.

He discovered that the math you need
    to show the laws of nature,
Surpassed the knowledge of that day;
    the cosmos' legislature
Required new math, so Newton wrote
    his "fluxions" nomenclature.

He talked of falling bodies
    and his famous Laws of Motion,
And of colors seen in bubbles
    and the tides upon the ocean.
And his crowning jewel, "Principia,"
    created great commotion.

Yes, Newton's brilliant mind, it was
    a trunk with many twigs--
His mind branched out in every way
    (right through his powdered wigs).
His greatest contribution, though,
    was cookies made from figs.

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