Poetry and science: Odele Straub

Ce jour-là,

Face à la chaleur,

L’éternité remarqua

Dans le miroitement des mirroirs

Que son coeur murmurant

Etait trou noir

Et illusion du temps.


That day,

Immersed in heat,

Eternity noticed

In the shimmering mirrors,

That its murmuring heart

Was a black hole

And an illusion of time.


Odele Straub

Odele Straub is an astrophysicist, part-time poet and occasional philosopher. To her language and science are both based on the ability to use a system of abstract terms and ideas to describe the world and communicate facts. The abstraction ability varies across persons and species, but no matter how refined it is, there is always a discrepancy between expression and reality. Wittgenstein summarised this in proposition number seven of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. But sometimes the mere attempt of writing down the unutterable clarifies things. For Odele Straub writing as self-reflection together with travelling the world and un- ravelling the mysteries of the universe have always been the primary necessities.

Born in Singapore, Odele Straub grew up in Switzerland and lived for many years in Poland and France. Before graduating in physics she went to a grammar school with a language profile where she learned German, French, English, Russian and Latin. She writes in various languages. The introduction of her PhD thesis on the black hole spin appeared in a Polish popular science magazine and her scientific articles are published in international journals, but her other writings, short stories, songs and poems, circulated until now only among her friends.

Unique session at ESOF 2014 – Science meets Poetry IV: Danish connections.

Featured image credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Thomas Berg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.