Patrick served as head of the Energy Academy and Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University and secured Renewable Energy interests at the University’s Orkney Campus, so he has a wide interest in energy and the science behind it.
This grounding provides a rich resource for poetry. Patrick is inspired by Dr Sam Illingworth who, in his own words: "writes science poems to try and communicate some of the beautiful and important scientific research that is being done on a daily basis, all across the world", and Colin Will , a Scottish poet living in Dunbar who has written several anthologies.
Patrick has created a number of energy and science poems, and examples are included here.
In the Edinburgh Festival 2019, he coordinated a session on Energy and Poetry at the Royal Society of Edinburgh and hopes to collaborate with more STEM poets (particularly as Heriot-Watt University has a strong STEM and weak poetry heritage!).
In his Geopoetry page, Patrick looks to Kenneth White for inspiration. White himself, in an essay printed in the The International Institute of Geopoetics traces the origins of geopoetry to the polymath Alexander van Humboldt in the early 19th century.
Having gained a grounding in geology at Freiberg, Humbolt worked as an advisor for mines. He then pursued further studies in astronomy, chemistry, galvanism and botany. This scientific grounding, and his passion for immersing himself in the world around him during his travels in South America, allowed him to make those many insights across different scientific disciplines for which he is known.
However, less well known is that he also wrote two books dealing with science and poetry: "A History of the Physical Contemplation of the Universe" and "Poetic Descriptions of Nature". In the first, he quotes his brother saying "Poetry, science, philosophy and history are not essentially separated the one from the other." In the second he explores poetic expression from the Greco-Roman period up to his own times.
Patrick also aspires to ‘extend’ or ‘follow’ Humboldt’s path: geology – science - poetry.
Numbers begat more
Numbers begat more and more
Numbers begat more and more patterns and patterns
Numbers begat more and more patterns and patterns until the series was complete
Numbers begat more and more patterns and patterns until the series was complete but then they realised it would never be
Numbers begat more and more patterns and patterns until the series was complete but then they realised it would never be and all this is, was, written down on paper by that Italian Fibonacci
Golden Ratio = 1.618 which is the approximation of the Fibonacci Series dividing the number of words in the current line by the number of words in the previous line.
Out to sea we see
A pin going in
Like one on the back nine
I think it just fine
Whether the climate is changing
Or we hear an anti-carbon plot
The world is certainly ageing
As geological records haven't forgot
Do what we can.
Do it when we can.
September 25, 2018
Aberdeen Bay Windfarm (PC)