Search Icon
Marionet Logo
Menu Icon

The Eyes of Isaac Newton

The Eyes of Isaac Newton

Iggy McGovern


In his fourth collection of poems, poet & physicist Iggy McGovern lets art and science intermingle in poems that range from the domestic to the ekphrastic, from the celebratory to the elaboratory. With trademark formality he runs his eye over an array of themes, some familiar, some less so, allowing for both conversation and collision: an epistolary paean to fellow Ulsterman Seamus Heaney borrows a Latin quotation from a letter by Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton to William Wordsworth; the early history of the quantum revolution is mapped out in clerihew form; and Schrödinger’s cat takes up the position of tour guide in the famous box. The poet’s failure to write “a real love poem” and a childhood memory of near-accidental loss of eyesight are both, somehow, science’s fault. And through it all the eyes have it, narrowing, winking, weeping and (given the right conditions) dilating into Black Holes.

Dedalus Press

Iggy McGovern

Iggy McGovern is an Irish poet and physicist, born in Coleraine and educated in Belfast. He holds degrees in physics from Queen’s University, Belfast, and was a Professor of Physics in Trinity College, Dublin until retirement in 2013.


He has three collections of poetry published with Dedalus Press, ‘The King of Suburbia’ in 2005, ‘Safe House’ in 2010, and ‘The Eyes of Isaac Newton’ in 2017 (available on DCPAS). A poetic biography of the 19th century Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton, ‘A Mystic Dream of 4’, was published by Quaternia Press in 2013. ‘The King of Suburbia’ won the inaugural Glen Dimplex New Writers Award for Poetry. Other awards include the Hennessy Award for Poetry and The Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary. He has presented his poetry at writers’ festivals in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Australasia.


McGovern’s poetry is characterised by form, rhyme, and occasional humour; it also reflects his professional career as a physicist. His interest lies in the common ground between Science and Literature, and he has been writing and lecturing on this theme.


More information:,

Menu Icon