What more do atoms bind
than the eyes which do find
objects, an infinite fold,
their stories all untold?
Of what more do lips speak
than mountain spring and river creek,
than star fires all aglow,
than northern winds all ablow?
And what more, oh, what more,
of thumb and fingers four,
of their industry which doth make,
of their gall, their will to take?
Tell me then, what more of sun’s fire,
without man to ever tire?
What more of planets great
without soul, beauty its to create?
If it is only through nature that we be,
then why speak any more of humanity?
I wrote this poem in response to something someone said in my class. He claimed that we are just nature, that the things we make are all just a part of nature, and that in the end, we and the things we create are nothing but nature. Indeed I have been cited to claim that a TV is as much a part of nature as we are, like how a beaver’s dam or an ant’s hill are part of nature, but I do think that there is more to man than just nature. Man is animal, but man is also more, just as a square is also a rectangle, but something more. A sun is powerful, but what is its power without man to admire it or to enjoy it? Suns are powerful, but a sun cannot imagine, cannot create worlds that do not exist, cannot do all the things that our minds can do nor feel all the things that our hearts can feel. Man is a part of and yet apart from the universe. It is our gift from the universe to recreate it in our minds as something unique. We are gifted with a world that, while based on one world, is all our own. Our existence is made richer than anything else in the universe because we have the ability to perpetually enrich it with the universe.
It is through nature that we be, and it is through our humanity that we become.