Community Poem, Vanderbilt University

I Pledge to the Big, to the Small

A community poem written by visitors to the Poets for Science exhibit, Vanderbilt University,
February 2020


I pledge allegiance to original thought and revitalizing lives
Through psychiatry, therapy, medicine
To creative fulfillment of our human nature,
Free from impoverishment and disease

I pledge to the Big.
To the cosmos, the origin of all lives revitalized
To our place in the universe that dwarfs us,
To the galactic ballet that makes us Look Up,
A gorgeous system of which we are an infinitely small subset

I pledge to the Small.
To nanotechnology and Van der Waals forces,
Pulling and pushing atoms into the loving embraces
And delicate distances
That make life work

I pledge.

I pledge to the Earth and all the beauty it has to offer
To the Patapsco and the Cuyahoga
To winter sun glinting off the freshly fallen snow
To trees with new growth pushing beneath bare branches,
Teaching us to extend function and form as naturally as a new leaf

I pledge to the External Unknown, to the future and our children
For seeds sown will not be blown

I pledge to the Internal and the Expanding
To my innermost thoughts and the marvelous wonders of the mind


Insufficient would it be to Pledge
And not Vow
To be ambitious
To expand
To do

To pursue knowledge and truth
And create a time where science, poetry,
Revitalized lives, the Big and the Small,
The external and internal Earths
The Unknown and Undiscovered
Are valued and trusted by all.

The photo below shows visitors engaging with the Poets for Science exhibit at Vanderbilt University:

Poets for Science exhibit at Vanderbilt University