Margaret Cavendish Hears A Who

Margaret Cavendish’s poem It Is Hard to Believe that there Are Other Worlds in this World reminds me somewhat of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who. In the poem, the narrator wonders about how many small worlds are hidden inside of our own.

So in this world another world may be,
Which we do neither touch, taste, smell, hear, see.

As for example, atoms in the air
We ne’er perceive, although the light be fair.

Cavendish 9-16

This poem feels very introspective. It doesn’t seem to have a message or anything; instead it’s the author “thinking out loud” so to speak. The idea that there are different worlds inside of our own that we can’t see is incredibly interesting to me, and is reminiscent of the idea that our universe as we know it is a smaller part of something much bigger than we can imagine. I like to know that this concept is not new and that humans have been thinking about it for centuries.

But is there a “message” to this poem? I couldn’t pick one out. Maybe it’s pessimistic; that everything we do does not matter because of the sheer size of the universe. But I don’t think it’s that. The tone is very hopeful and wonderstruck, as shown in the line “Though ne’er so small, life may be in the same” (Cavendish 18). Is this poem strictly contemplative, or is the author trying to get some lesson across?

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