Every morning I go to the gym, I pass this painted on the wall as I leave the National Aquatic Center:
There are several on the wall around the lobby, but that one keeps getting under my fingernails.
Yes, there’s a third thing. No, it’s not unknown. It’s called the polar covalent bond, it was discovered several years before D.H.L. wrote that poem in 1929 and it’s the basis for all known life in the universe. If it didn’t exist, no living creature could exist; it’s why water freezes to a solid that floats, it’s why water is a universal solvent, it’s why we can have cells and life and conscious thought, it’s a consequence of three of the fundamental forces of the universe acting in concert at the quantum mechanical level to give us a macroscopic effect we cannot exist without, and somehow a lowly, half-evolved not-quite-so-hairy-anymore ape with bad knees and a tiny lifespan managed to figure out this enormous fundamental thing using only our limited minds.
But apparently, “nobody knows what that is” makes for better poetry.
I mean, I’m no poet laureate (seeing as how I have a real job), but I would have thought myself that ignoring the incredibly numinous reality in order to pick a line that doesn’t even rhyme wasn’t really poetry, so much as phoning it in.
Anyway. Just had to vent a little. All done, nothing to see here, move along….