Natural Law

By Babette Deutsch 1895–1982 Babette Deutsch
If you press a stone with your finger,
Sir Isaac Newton observed,
The finger is also
Pressed by the stone.
But can a woman, pressed by memory’s finger,
In the deep night, alone,
Of her softness move
The airy thing
That presses upon her
With the whole weight of love? This
Sir Isaac said nothing of.

Babette Deutsch, “Natural Law” from The Collected Poems of Babette Deutsch (New York: Doubleday, 1969). Reprinted with the permission of Michael Yarmolinsky.

Source: The Collected Poems (Random House Inc., 1969)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Babette Deutsch 1895–1982

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Love, Relationships, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Epigram

 Babette  Deutsch


Poet, novelist, editor, and critic Babette Deutsch was born and lived much of her life in New York City. She began to publish poems in journals such as the New Republic while a student at Barnard College, where she earned a BA. Two years after her graduation, she published her first poetry collection, Banners (1919).
Aligned with the Imagist movement, Deutsch typically composed compact, lyrical pieces using crisp visual . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Relationships, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Epigram

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.