Non est tuum, fortuna quod fecit tuum

Count not that as yours which fortune has made yours.   For Niels Bohr

If I were born like you in cold Denmark
In the year 1885,
(Nota Bene - Not really a special year, 
Except that Burma became British)
Would I have discovered the atom like you did?
The connection you established between the quantum theory of Planck 
and the atomic theory of Thomson and Rutherford?
Or would I have wandered through the streets of Cambridge,
In my mind, the verses of Morris
From The Life and Death of Jason
"Dreamer of dreams, born out of due time,
Why should I strive to set the crooked straight?"

How would I find the Victorian Empire, the height of hypocrisy,
The death of Oscar Wilde, the tales from your fellow countryman?
What would I do in that most inspiring period at the beginning of the XX century?
The development of electricity, the cinema, the automobile, the telephone.
But also the First World War and, later on, World War II.
Did you, like me, lose many relatives in the euphemism of racial supremacy?
Would I have, like you, run away from the Nazi madness?
Would I have had enough time to work on the discovery of the atomic structure?
Or would I have decided to be W.B. Yeats?

By kasia b. turajczyk 


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