Poetry is a powerful tool that has helped many to connect and express their emotions. It’s an exploration of what’s different and yet unique in the world and is an outlet that encourages artistic expression, creativity and intellectual connection. This genre of literature is celebrated with abstraction and the beauty of words which allow people to discover everything from a new perspective. While poetry has bore witness to several major political events in history, many believe that poetry is no longer relevant to the current era.
But, why are we discussing poetry? What is the connection between poetry and astronomy?
Well, you’ll be surprised to learn that along with love, death and spirituality, the beauty of the cosmos has also received literary treatment. For centuries, poets have been interested in the mysteries of the universe and so many poetical descriptions of the constellations have come down to us from classical times. While some authors have created descriptive astronomy in poetical form, others were bound by astronomical knowledge.
On the net, you’ll find the works of many renowned poets, but today I’d like to quote the works of a blogger.
A Poem About Trappist-1 Exoplanet System
Seven bright planets so lovely and shiny
Circle a star that is awfully tiny
Their orbits – unusual, special. You see?
Not one in the hab zone – no, not one but three!
Each of the planets is small, prob’ly rocky
But too far away for that old walkie talkie.
Are they like our own? With air and with water?
The innermost two are no good, they’re much hotter.
But planets d, e and f all have potential
Their temperatures good. Now that is essential
But do they have atmospheres? Coffee or tea?
Let’s wait for results from JWST
What gives Trappist-1 its status of eminence:
All seven planets are locked in a resonance
The signs of migration are out there to see
(Jupiter’s moons do the same, but they’re only three.)
Hooray for these seven orbs, they are the best
The system that blows away all of the rest
I’d love to stop by for a visit and play
But it’s roundabout 40-odd light years away!
A Poem About Black Holes
The Milky Way’s center is hiding a beast
It’s huge and it’s hungry and longing to feast
It gobbles up planets and comets and stars
For now we are safe – it won’t eat up ours
Its name is Sagi-ma-tarius A
Our very own monster, well that’s what they say
And we never have seen it, we only can trace
The stars that it flings around over the place
A black hole! It’s massive but really quite tiny
It’s doesn’t give off any light – it’s not shiny
Its gravity pulls like a kid on a crepe
Even a photon can never escape!
Now guess what would happen if you flew too near
That close to a black hole – a “brave” volunteer?
Please just stay home, it’s a wretched idea
(You’d be so much happier with diarrhea.)
Your feet would get pulled on much more than your head
You’d stretch out like crazy (and soon you’d be dead)
You’d end up spaghettified, stretched to a string
Then wrapped right around the black hole like a ring
To convey something so meaningful and powerful takes a lot of effort and also a good level of understanding of astronomy in general. The level of science portrayed in these poems is perhaps above the average knowledge a person can have about astronomy. It’s a challenge to express oneself in a cathartic way, come up with good rhymes and at the same time, throw in significant scientific nuggets.
I would love to hear any comments on these two astronomy poems. So, if you have any, hit the comment section below!