Tesla’s scientific poetry

 

 

Tesla wrote, in the late 1920s, a poem  Fragments of Olympian Gossip to his friend George Sylvester Viereck, (a well-known German poet and mystic) parodying some of what were called « the scientific establishment of the day ».

 

 

Fragments of Olympian Gossip 

While listening on my cosmic phone
I caught words from the Olympus blown.
A newcomer was shown around;
That much I could guess, aided by sound.
« There’s Archimedes with his lever
Still busy on problems as ever.
Says: matter and force are transmutable
And wrong the laws you thought immutable. »
« Below, on Earth, they work at full blast
And news are coming in thick and fast.
The latest tells of a cosmic gun.
To be pelted is very poor fun.
We are wary with so much at stake,
Those beggars are a pest—no mistake. »
« Too bad, Sir Isaac, they dimmed your renown
And turned your great science upside down.
Now a long haired crank, Einstein by name,
Puts on your high teaching all the blame.
Says: matter and force are transmutable
And wrong the laws you thought immutable. »
« I am much too ignorant, my son,
For grasping schemes so finely spun.
My followers are of stronger mind
And I am content to stay behind,
Perhaps I failed, but I did my best,
These masters of mine may do the rest.
Come, Kelvin, I have finished my cup.
When is your friend Tesla coming up. »
« Oh, quoth Kelvin, he is always late,
It would be useless to remonstrate. »
Then silence—shuffle of soft slippered feet—
I knock and—the bedlam of the street.