Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 1996, is adjunct professor of humanities at MIT. He is the author of several books on science, including Ancient Light: Our Changing View of the Universe (1991) and Origins: The Lives and Worlds of Modern Cosmologists (with R. Brawer, 1990). His works of fiction include Einstein’s Dreams (1993), a national bestseller, The Diagnosis (2000), finalist for the National Book Award, and Reunion (2003).

All Books

Song of Two Worlds

Alan Lightman

Publication Date: February 10, 2017

$17.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 9781597090322


After decades of living “hung like a dried fly,” emptied and haunted by his past, the narrator, a man who has lost his faith in all things following a mysterious personal tragedy, awakens one morning revitalized and begins a Dante-like journey to find something to believe in, first turning to the world of science and then to the world of philosophy, religion, and human life. As his personal story is slowly revealed, little by little, we confront the great questions of the cosmos and of the human heart, some questions with answers and others without.


Created by a man of science and art, Alan Lightman’s work is a unique thing to behold. Song of Two Worlds is a collection of poetry from the physicist, as he blends his two disciplines well for a truly fascinating insight into the world around us. With fine verse, Song of Two Worlds is a top pick.—The Midwest Book Review

This slim volume of narrative verse by the author of the bestselling book Einstein’s Dreams is a bold move. The point, says arts/science polymath Alan Lightman, is to explore meaning and truth in science, but in the highly concentrated form only possible in verse. It pays off: There’s no completion in mind / With its unending halls / Or electronic minds that have no belief.—NewScientist’s CultureLab Science News Blog

In taking on several more layers than the usual two-cultures debate-featuring works, and quite successfully dealing with them, Song of Two Worlds is a nice addition to the scientific-poetic library.—M. A. Orthofer, The Complete Review