A void is something you don't want to be;
To be vacant and empty and all content-free.
To avoid an ovoid shape you work out.
And void is the space in the mind of the lout.
The world at the start was without form and void,
Which God, in a New York minute, changed with a "woid,"
And brought into being, from chaos, some order--
A pity the world is recrossing that border!
But the void isn't, really, in deep outer space--
There's more stuff out there than there is in this place!
The poles of the Earth, if you don't count the ice,
Are devoid, save for scientists learning from mice.
For science, religion, philosophy, art--
The concepts of vacuum and void are a part.
That Nature abhors it, horror vacui,
Prompted Guericke to make one -- 17th century.
Torricelli, who assisted Galileo some days,
Proved that air is no void, and how much it weighs.
The weighing of thallium by Sir William Crookes,
In a void, or a vacuum, placed him in science books.
MAX QUORDLEPLEEN: Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, there is nothing penultimate about this one. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the proverbial it. After this, there is void... emptiness... oblivion... absolute nothing. Except, of course, for the sweets trolley and our fine selection of Aldebaran liqueurs. And for once, ladies and gentlemen, there is no need to worry about having a hangover in the morning, for there will be no more mornings.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for. The skies begin to tremble, nature collapses into the streaming void. In fifteen seconds' time, the universe itself will be at an end! See where the light of infinity bursts in upon us!
--The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981) by Douglas Adams
The Big Bang began as an ovoid that broke,
Like an egg, into art, where religion once spoke.
In language as well as in "lit" we fill find
That avoiding the void is not off the world mind...
In Dutch, Swedish, German, Spanish, French, as we read,
It's ledig, tom, nichtig, vacío and vide.
In Italian, and Polish, and Hungarian they speak
Vuotaggine, prosnia, üres -- um -- 'akuroV in Greek.
Puctota is the Russian, munashii Japanese,
And bosluk the Turkish for void, if you please.
The myths of creation apply the same word
In explaining a void as first Chaos, I heard.
The absolute, or God, in philosophic sagacity
Is described as a void, with some perspicacity.
Miguel de Molinos, Jakob Boehme, de la Cruz,
Meister Eckhart and Swedenborg, these thinkers will use,
In describing a nothingness, to the void they'll allude--
For Buddhists and Taoists "void" is spiritual food!
"The language of emptiness" was painted, 'tis true,
By Andrés in her oils, known as "Path Thirty-Two."
ALLEN: That's quite a lovely Jackson Pollack, isn't it?
MUSEUM GIRL: Yes, it is.
ALLEN: What does it say to you?
MUSEUM GIRL: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.
ALLEN: What are you doing Saturday night?
MUSEUM GIRL: Committing suicide.
ALLEN: What about Friday night?
--Play It Again, Sam (1972) by Woody Allen
Yes, a void is a thing that you don't want to be;
But avoiding the void is not just up to me.
To reject all those negative thoughts in your head,
You're forced to put something in your brain, instead.
And making a something of nothing, I swear,
Is hopeless because there's no "there" inside there.
You need to concede there are no devoid hours,
You need to create something with all your powers,
And fill up that void with all that you do,
Don't wish -- I've told you, it's all up to you!
--Uptight, Late-Night, Stage Fright Ronald, The Duke of Doggerel
Ronald Bruce Meyer is a freelance doggerelist.