Unlike Histories, The Nature of Things was incredibly fascinating to read. Even though it wasn’t exactly scientifically accurate by today’s stands (and who would expect it to be?) I still found it enriching to hear Lucretius ramble about atoms. The fact that he rhymed throughout the poem helped as well. On aspect of The Nature of Things that stuck with me is Lucretius’ explanation of matter and void. Lucretius states that within matter is void, an empty space. An example that can describe this is a fish swimming through the sea. As the fish moves forward, it is pushing the matter of the space that it is occupying into the void of the space ahead of it. This accounts for the painting that I used to represent this book.
The theme song that I used for this book is a little unusual. It is an art song (in the old school sense) by Schubert entitled “Gretchen am Spinnrade.” It uses text from Faust by Goethe and depicts Gretchen working at her spinning wheel while daydreaming about Faust. The right hand of the piano is supposed to represent the continual turning of the spinning wheel. However, in this context, I view the right hand of the piano as being representative of atoms. It continually provides the smallest rhythmic degree of structure to the song while the larger, more “human” aspect of the song soars above in the voice.