In his epic narrative poem ‘Lamia,’ John Keats claims that ‘Philosophy will clip an Angel’s wings.’ [Philosophy in this sense means the same as science; the study of the fundamental nature of our existence through reason and lateral thinking.]
Keats then goes on to describe that ‘there was an awful rainbow once in heaven’; a jibe at Theodoric of Freiburg, who he claimed ‘destroyed the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to the prismatic colours.’
This stanza inspired Edgar Allen Poe’s sonnet ‘To Science,’ as well as sparking a wider discussion on the effects of science on our perceptions of the world around us. Both of these poets lament the effect of science in taking away the mystery, and therefore the allure and beauty of nature, in their works.
In Richard Dawkin’s 1998 book ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’ [Based on the lines from Keats’ Lamia] he argues that science does not destroy, but rather discovers poetry in the patterns of nature.
What are your perceptions of the relationship between Science and the Arts? Do they enhance each other, or are they at odds with each other?