“Science is the poetry of the intellect and poetry the science of the heart’s affections.”
~ Lawrence Durrell

This week we gathered at the Lunenburg Bandstand to put some poems under the microscope as we explored the theme of Science. Scientific investigation is filled with a responsibility to awe (as Rebecca Elson put it), but progress may also come at morally ambiguous costs, and open doors to unknown futures. As we tinker with our DNA, where do we draw the line – at what point do we fundamentally change who we are as a species? Ellen Bass asks: who will mourn homo sapiens? We looked at the stars with Galileo and Tracy K. Smith, and marveled at humans’ simultaneous insignificance and achievement of looking ever-further into the expanding universe. We explored the presence of technology in our lives as prophecy, and the enviably long life of plastic. Neil Gaiman showed women to be the original scientists in their role as gatherers: observation, experiment & measurement. Margaret Atwood questioned our consumption of the world. We ended by going back to the beginning of it all – the tiny vastness of the singularity.

Next time’s theme is “Letter Writing” and will take place via Zoom March 1st.

SPOT Reading List

A list of the poems we read

I’ve added some links where I could to the poems, poets or books if you would like to explore.

When the Young Geneticist Was Asked, “Aren’t you worried about the implications of your work?” with a Toss of Her Sun-streaked Hair, She Declared, “No, not at all. I can’t wait to fuck a clone.” by Ellen Bass

The Universe is a House Party by Tracy K. Smith
Watch Tracy read her poem.

The Greatest Astonishment by Galileo

The Pylon by Stephen Spender

The Mushroom Hunters by Neil Gaiman
Click the link the read the poem and watch a beautiful animated film of it.

Degrees of Separations by Catherine Walker (Spot of Poetry member)

First Trimester by Craig Santos Perez

Godstone by Virginia Hamilton Adair

Science by Logan Kennedy (Spot of Poetry member)

More and More by Margaret Atwood

The Singularity by Marie Howe
Click the link the read the poem and watch a beautiful animated film of it.

Pocket article about genes from Quanta Magazine.

SPOT Write Prompt

Poetry reading & writing prompt for next week

Prompt/Theme: “Letter Writing”

When we meet again, bring along poems inspired by the theme. There is no obligation to write, but if you feel inspired, you are welcome to bring your poem to share at the next gathering.