The divide between poetry and science isn’t as wide as one might think. In the 1700s certain poems had inherent scientific messages:

[T]he point of poetry was pattern; to use a strict structure of rhythm and rhyme as a framework for words of passion or pedantry that would become fixed in a reader’s brain.

In other words:

Poetry … is mathematics. It is close to a particular branch of the subject known as combinatorics, the study of permutations — of how one can arrange particular groups of objects, numbers or letters according to stated laws. …. As in a great poem, hidden within that elegant structure are deeper truths that touch on apparently unrelated things; on fractal patterns, on the theory of numbers, on primes, and of complexities too deep to be accessible to mere mortals untrained in the mathematical art.

There’s something deeply appealing about these frameworks revealing truths beyond those we can see or feel. I like how Robert Frost put it: “Poetry without rules is like tennis without a net.”

[Image: Best known is The Loves of the Plants, by Erasmus Darwin, who in 1791 set out in verse an account of the sexual habits of the vegetable world. He used heroic couplets, in which the rhyme pattern is AA, BB, CC and so on…” [via]