Discussion Board

Topic: Poetry and Science

From: Cecilia Vail Hampton
Location: Copperopolis
Date: 05/31/2008

I find poetry and science go rather well together. As you had asked if I could recommend any other science poetry I polled my friend at the California Federation of Chaparral Poets (of which I am a member at large) and came away with the name of another member who also writes, astronomer Jim Gibson. I looked for anything posted online but it was a no go so I emailed Ursula Gibson, Poet Laureate of Tujunga. When I get more info Greg Bear, sir, I will send it. In the meantime here's another poem I hope you will enjoy:

Awaken Ophiuchus

Ophiuchus lies sleeping
in billowy repose...
Oh, mage of ancient astrology,
what questions do you pose?

For sidereal musings
upon the pictured stars
you must awaken
from your dreaming
hour upon endless hour
to consider and decide...
Astrology s in danger
from Scientific fratricide
in culture, language
and mystic whimsy
Astro-logic for some has died

Serpentii Ophiuchus
let the arms of Morpheus fall
for the sake of your inclusion, note
the seasons change us all
the yearly crops and their leavings,
the sun in tropic squalls
or zodiacal circles of wild animals.

Sidereal or Tropical?
So many parallels
such disrespect of ancient thought
and beliefs once held
borne of science and machinery
erasing ancient history
the birth and death, the daily grind
of superstitious ancient man
whose lengthy lore of stars of yore
the tests of time no longer bind

So weary Ophiuchus,
sleep on in billowy repose,
Serpent on your pillow,
and give no consideration
to the answers for the questions
you no longer know.

Cecilia Vail Hampton

Re: Poetry and Science

From: Rouald Laurenson
Location: Coronado
Date: 06/06/2008

Cecilia, I enjoyed that. For its word-beauty where you made that first. And then i think your subject with care is well-taken. There's a respect due, and not just for the pre-science knowledge. There's also a matter of the value of feeling harmony with nature, a topic Greg's gotten into very deeply from time to time.

Of what we are, that's something we feel. And so...

Kind regards,

Re: Poetry and Science

From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 06/23/2008

Stapledon wrote some "scientipoetry" too:

Western Culture

Storms are foreseen,
stars' fortunes told,
atoms unsealed,
minds tuned, each tone.

Mozartian universe!
Beautifully mathematical,
arithmetically musical,
Mystery?  farce!
Yet wisdom's a submarine,
tidy within; without?
Pry no sharp query,
lest we drown.

--From the Olaf Staledon Online Archive at www.geocities.com/olafstapledon_archive

And because I can't resist it, a fragment from my own upcoming chapbook THE PUMPKIN PLANET AND OTHER POEMS (I have no mouth and I must Spam):

Back-of-bookstore boxes
ripe with aging magazines,
Thrilling Wonder Stories
full of Virgil Finlay art!
Waiting for a morning when
I'll wake up in my teens,
unaware I'm living
in the noontide of my heart

Then between I, Robot
and Against the Fall of Night,
a paperback whose binding
showered glue-chips on the floor!
I stayed until closing
reading by the fading light,
then dug out a nickel for
The Copperbots of Glor!
How could I go home without
The Copperbots of Glor!

Boxy copper bodies hiding
brains immune to death,
crusted in kaleidoscopic
eyes and spinning dials!
Slaving without sleeping,
never drawing mortal breath,
cyborg-soldiers running
on their own atomic piles

Science-Fiction sanities to
shield me from the sea
of prepubescent madness starting
at the schoolhouse door!
Bullies whose profanities
were always aimed at me,
wonder how they'd fare against
The Copperbots of Glor!
Maybe they could learn some sense
from Copperbots of Glor...

But enough of that.

Re: Poetry and Science

From: Greg Bear
Date: 07/01/2008

Brilliant! I've been looking for a copy of Copperbots of Glor/ for decade after decade now... to find it nevermore!

Re: Poetry and Science

From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 07/02/2008

Very popular in its time. It was even optioned by Stanley Cupric...

Re: Poetry and Science

From: Greg Bear
Date: 07/04/2008

Ohhh... my brane hurtz.

Re: Poetry and Science: Aliens!

From: Cecilia Hampton
Location: California
Date: 07/05/2008

Invitation Withdrawn

Others might call home
these twenty-eight unknowns,
planets deep inside our galaxy
beyond distant stars.
We posit there are people
with hopes and dreams
on planets just like ours.

Similar suns rule solar systems,
and planets like our Earth
are not so very rare, their orbitsᅠ
elongated, day after frozen day.
Life may not occur so readily
on such intemperate ground.

Among thirty million solar systems
Earthlike homes must abound
with a rocky core and watery envelope.
Life, we are promised, is assured
Yet if we consult resident genius
Stephen Hawking warns us,
in level electronic tones:
beware the highly advanced alien,
let him stay wherever he may roam
using prescient caution
dont invite him home.

Poetry and Science: Cloning

From: Cecilia Hampton
Location: California
Date: 07/05/2008

Hi Greg!

Here's my latest scientific offering--tongue in cheek please! Originally, "orphaned trees" were bastard trees...but bastard is a bad word! Couldn't get it past many word filters. This a test of the bastard word system!


Saga of the Lone Pine Tree Farm

As the twig is bent so the tree inclines,
so dont be fooled by the brand new pines.
Demented copies of the superseed,
our new forests are all one treed.

Row on row they stand alone,
all one identical piney clone.
Has man put himself in the place of God,
growing orphaned trees out of cursed sod?

Mixing up pines of kind and kind,
man birthed a tree of his own cruel mind.
God may punish men like these
for trying to command the trees.

Should phony forests be allowed to grow?
God will surely let us know,
Well soon see if he intercedes,
and supersedes the superseed....

Re: Poetry and Science: Aliens!

From: Greg Bear
Date: 07/09/2008

My sentiments exactly!

Poetry and Science: Cloning

From: Greg Bear
Date: 07/09/2008

Very good--but a lot of forests, including I believe alders, are clone sisters of each other, naturally. In vegetation, sex may not be all it's cracked up to be!

Poetry and Science: Earthly Universes

From: Cecilia
Location: California
Date: 07/16/2008

Red Shift

street lights all have halos
and rays that glance and bounce
radiating the icy vacuum
each a distant star with
its own signs of life

streams of autos spread wings
white light coming toward us
red light-shifted speeding away
tiny galaxies revolving down
a universal highway

stacks of lighted building
blocks scraping the milky way
sky high rectangular planets
stuffed with strange species
no two exactly alike

Cecilia Hampton
Copyright ᄅ2008 Cecilia Hampton

Poetry and Science: Visiting the edge of the solar system...

From: Cecilia
Location: California
Date: 07/16/2008

I hope you all like this one, written before Pluto was reduced to sub-planet status. One more after this poem and we will have exhausted my science poems for the time being. But don't get excited about the end, I still have a pen and ink!

Snow and Stars

There is snow on Pluto, never melting
400 million miles from the dimmed sun
wondrous snow, falling on a distant planet...
gaseous little flakes,
the like of which--there are none!

Winds of darkened Pluto,
twirl your antique flakes,
dancing in starry night,
never knowing what designs
your snow makes.
We imagine they shine
and shimmer, 228 years old and
no two flakes alike

That there is snow on Pluto,
an ocean on Jupiter's moon,
that the Oort is a cloud of
comets, and water vapor
fogs the canals of Mars...
just knowing more planets
surround more stars
than Aldebaran,
than Centauri,
than Andromeda,
makes the universe ours...

Cecilia Vail Hampton
Copyright ᄅ2008 Cecilia Vail Hampton

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