Modern physics questions the absoluteness of time. Yet the cosmological theories of Mach, Einstein and Barbour are no more testable, given the scale of the universe, than those of the first theoretical physicist, Parmenides, who was also a poet. He described how change cannot logically exist yet it observably exists. This kind of paradox is the stuff of poetry. Since the arrival of quantum physics it is the stuff of modern physics too.
Poetry is inclusive of many levels of meaning, among them rational meaning, but it is also supra-rational. Traditionally science and logical argument must be exclusive of distractions and stick to a single line of thought. But perhaps physics can only advance, and poetry can only maintain what Thomas Hardy called its ‘sustaining power’, if each is open to the thinking of the other. This book explores the findings of neuroscience as well as the experience of poets and physicists when faced with the paradox of Time/No Time.