Many cultures saw the rainbow as a bridge between this world and another . . .
Or a goddess's necklace, a heavenly snake, the bow of a celestial hunter . . .
Does the scientific explanation of the rainbow as an optical phenomenon caused by the light of the sun on moisture in the Earth's atmosphere destroy its beauty?
John Keats thought so and said as much in his poem Lamia.
- Do not all charms fly
- At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
- There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
- We know her woof, her texture; she is given
- In the dull catalogue of common things.
- Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
- Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
- Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine –
- Unweave a rainbow
I don't think so.
I tend to agree with the poet Wordsworth who said:
- My heart leaps up when I behold
- A rainbow in the sky:
- So was it when my life began;
- So is it now I am a man;
- So be it when I shall grow old,
- Or let me die!…