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Submitted on
September 3, 2011
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It's an old truth that all towers fall.
Everything we build, we build from rubble.
Even the first stone was fractured from a child
of a star. With our fingernailed hands
we placed it on the altar of the world.

This is the root of ritual: to build a religion
of work. Babel's foundation is laid first
in the mind. A design translating the world
into terms we understand, into heavy things
we cast out into reason's borderlands.

We built with these stones of the mind,
laid with disciplined precision, with wills bent
toward a distant and unseen goal. Perhaps
our great sin was not in our attempt to reach God
but in foolishly imagining heaven
to be so close by.
This poem was written for a textbook on Engineering Culture. It prefaces the final chapter on "Engineering Imagination."
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:iconfutilitarian:
futilitarian Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011   Writer
I don't really have a great deal to add to the comments above except to say that I love the idea of this being in an Engineering textbook. It's kind of a clash of three competing epistemologies: science, religion, and poetry.
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:iconthehungerartist:
TheHungerArtist Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011
Seeing poetry described as an epistemology will always make me smile. Thank you.
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:iconringetteblondie:
ringetteblondie Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011
I completely agree with what Elmara and Halatia said. This is an amazing piece, brillant and it shows us another way to look at science and religion. Another way to look at almost everything. I just love it!
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:iconthehungerartist:
TheHungerArtist Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011
Wow. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks.
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:iconelmara:
Elmara Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011  Student Writer
i worship your talent and pray for the day i'll be able to write half as well as you. :worship:
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:iconthehungerartist:
TheHungerArtist Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011
I, uh, er... well, I... so... thanks?
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:iconhalatia:
Halatia Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011  Professional Writer
Absolutely stunning. I love the way you blend science and religion.
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:iconthehungerartist:
TheHungerArtist Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011
Thanks. Stephen Jay Gould's NonOverlapping MAgisteria (NOMA), is of only academic worth. Overlap away, I say.
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