A pebble is dropped into a deep well, and 3.0 seconds later the sound of a splash is heard as the pebble reaches the bottom of the well. The speed of sound in air is about 340 m/s. (a) How long does it take for the pebble to hit the water? (b) How long does it take for the sound to reach the observer? (c) What is the depth of the well?https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/pebble-being-dropped-into-a-well.611630/
Indeed–what can we determine based upon the little we know for certain? This physics problem came to mind when I was listening for responses to, say, a short poetry collection that came out recently. (Yes, Strange Ladies.) And I recalled a visit in 1984 to Goodrich Castle in Ross on Wye, Herefordshire, England, where we did just that–dropped a small stone into the well–and waited what seemed a long time for the sound to reach us. From what I understand, tourists can’t do that anymore; the National Historic Trust has upgraded the ruins to make them safer to visit. The tourist board doesn’t want anyone falling down wells.
But I digress. I meant the metaphor to apply to how writers listen eagerly for response to their work once it is published. Will anyone review it? Will anyone read the review? Will anyone post about it on social media? Will anyone contact the writer to say those words we want to hear: “I love your book!” –?
Sometimes, yes. And for those who have done so already, a million thanks.