What happens when an astrophysicist and a poet collide? In this astounding reading, which was designed as a warmup for the Universe In Verse, astrophysicist and gifted writer Janna Levin reads the poem “Hymn to Time”.  Inspired by the river-like nature of time, the poem by Ursula K. Le Guin doesn’t straddle the line between science and art — it blurs it.

“That riverine dimension of being is what Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929–January 22, 2018) explores with spare words and immense splendor of sentiment in ‘Hymn to Time’ from her final poetry collection, Late In The Day — a poem embodying her conviction that ‘science describes accurately from outside, poetry describes accurately from inside, [and] both celebrate what they describe’,” the video explains.

You can hear the whole reading from Janna Levin here:

Though hearing the poem is powerful, the language deserves to be cherished. It’s a simple, poignant work that tackles one of the most profound existential themes with delight and wonder — and the words will stay with you long after you finish reading.

Time says “Let there be”
every moment and instantly
there is space and the radiance
of each bright galaxy.

And eyes beholding radiance.
And the gnats’ flickering dance.
And the seas’ expanse.
And death, and chance.

Time makes room
for going and coming home
and in time’s womb
begins all ending.

Time is being and being
time, it is all one thing,
the shining, the seeing,
the dark abounding.