Odd poem: ‘We Dance For Laughter’ by Albert Einstein

We dance for laughter,
we dance for tears,
we dance for madness,
we dance for fears,
we dance for hopes,
we dance for screams,
we are the dancers,
we create the dreams.

*****

I can’t find anyone other than Einstein credited with this verse, but I also can’t find the source for it. Regardless, Einstein had an appropriate attitude for studying the universe: look at it and ourselves in the spirit of dance, learning, dreaming and creativity.

Photo: “Aðstæður til náms” by sfjalar is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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3 thoughts on “Odd poem: ‘We Dance For Laughter’ by Albert Einstein

  1. Michael Burch

    I haven’t heard of Albert Einstein writing poetry. I have, however, taken some of his quotes and turned them into poems.

    A question that sometimes drives me hazy:
    am I or are the others crazy?
    —Albert Einstein, poetic interpretation by Michael R. Burch

    ***

    Relativity and the “Physics” of Love
    interpretation as a poem by Michael R. Burch

    Sit next to a pretty girl for an hour,
    it seems like a minute.
    Sit on a red-hot stove for a minute,
    it seems like an hour.
    That’s relativity!

    Oh, it should be possible
    to explain the laws of physics
    to a barmaid! . . .
    but how could she ever,
    in a million years,
    explain love to an Einstein?

    All these primary impulses,
    not easily described in words,
    are the springboards
    of man’s actions—because
    any man who can drive safely
    while kissing a pretty girl
    is simply not giving the kiss
    the attention it deserves!

    ***

    Solitude
    interpretation as a poem by Michael R. Burch

    Solitude is painful
    when one is young,
    but delightful
    when one is more mature.
    I live in that solitude
    which was painful in my youth,
    but seems delicious now,
    in the years of my maturity.

    Now it gives me great pleasure, indeed,
    to see the stubbornness
    of an incorrigible nonconformist
    so warmly acclaimed . . .
    and yet it seems vastly strange
    to be known so universally
    and yet be so lonely.

    ***

    Morality
    interpretation as a poem by Michael R. Burch

    Still, as far as I’m concerned,
    I prefer silent vice
    to ostentatious virtue:
    I don’t know,
    I don’t care,
    and it doesn’t make any difference!

    ***

    Against Hubris
    interpretation as a poem by Michael R. Burch

    Science without religion is lame,
    religion without science is blind,
    and whoever undertakes to establish himself
    as the judge of Truth and Knowledge
    is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

    ***

    War and Peace
    interpretation as a poem by Michael R. Burch

    But heroism on command,
    senseless violence,
    and all the loathsome nonsense
    that goes by the name of patriotism:
    how passionately I hate them!
    Perfection of means
    and confusion of ends
    seem to characterize our age
    and it has become appallingly obvious
    that our technology
    has exceeded our humanity,
    that technological progress
    is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal,
    and that the attempt to combine wisdom and power
    has only rarely been successful
    and then only for a short while.

    It is my conviction
    that killing under the cloak of war
    is nothing but an act of murder.
    (I do not know what weapons
    World War III will be fought with,
    but World War IV will be fought
    with sticks and stones.)

    Oh, how I wish that somewhere
    there existed an island
    for those who are wise
    and of goodwill! . . .

    In such a place even I
    would be an ardent patriot,
    for I am not only a pacifist,
    but a militant pacifist.
    I am willing to fight for peace,
    for nothing will end war
    unless the people themselves
    refuse to go to war.

    Our task must be to free ourselves
    by widening our circle of compassion
    to embrace all living creatures
    and the whole of nature and its beauty.
    And peace cannot be kept by force;
    it can only be achieved by understanding.

    ***

    Mystery
    interpretation as a poem by Michael R. Burch

    There are two ways to live your life—
    one is as though nothing is a miracle,
    the other is as though everything is a miracle.
    The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious:
    it is the source of all true art and all science.
    He to whom this emotion is a stranger,
    who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe,
    is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

    ***

    Curiosity
    interpretation as a poem by Michael R. Burch

    The important thing is not to stop questioning.
    Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
    One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity,
    of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
    It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.
    Never lose a holy curiosity.

    People do not grow old no matter how long we live.
    We never cease to stand like curious children
    before the great Mystery into which we were born.

    ***

    Character
    interpretation as a poem by Michael R. Burch

    Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds
    because anger dwells only in the bosom of fools
    and weakness of attitude soon becomes weakness of character.
    Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity (and I’m not sure about the former);
    furthermore, we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
    The world is a dangerous place: not just because of the people who are evil,
    but also because of the good people who don’t do anything about it.
    He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt:
    he has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.

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