Geology, in a Nutshell

Whether you’re personally interested in geology or know someone who spends their free time hugging boulders, I hope you love this poem as much as I do.

The Geologist – W. Hart-Smith

I know a man who regards rocks as books.
He breaks open their covers with a hammer, prises leaves apart with a cold-chisel.
To him the earth is a library of neglected books.

He can interpret language of fault-scarp, valley and dome:
a mountain is not a mountain so much
as an item of incunabula,
a rare old tome.

Nothing’s neat here, though: nothing’s undisturbed.
Time is both illuminator and vandal.
Chaos and carelessness are magnificent, even if
he regards it all as something of a scandal
books should be left lying about so
with their pages cemented,
whole collections, first editions,
tumbled, cascaded, tilted, upended,
sprawled over the floor, scrawled over
with crude green comment.

It almost drives him demented –
the destruction… the teasing of a flaked fragment.

But sometimes Nature herself
will turn a page for him,
peel a whole cliff away
spectacularly …

He dances to see
the clean, undisfigured print there,
especially when the sun, setting,
touches it lovingly
and calls up an echo in his soul
of the same golden glint there.

However, lest we glorify geology too much, I’d like to present Uncyclopedia‘s take on the subject:

“Geologists are ‘scientists’ with unnatural obsessions with rocks. Often too intelligent to do monotonous sciences like biology, chemistry, or physics, geologists devote their time to mud-worrying, volcano poking, fault finding, bouldering, dust-collecting, and high-risk colouring. One of the main difficulties in communicating with geologists is their belief that a million years is a short amount of time and their heads are harder than rocks. Consequently, such abstract concepts as “Tuesday Morning” and “Lunchtime” are completely beyond their comprehension.”

As always, there are two sides to every story.

Cover photo courtesy of Carol Von Canon, Flickr Creative Commons


4 responses to “Geology, in a Nutshell

  1. I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

    • I’m so sorry – didn’t realized I’d never responded to your comment! So glad you’re enjoying the blog. I will try not to disappoint.

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