What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?
Darwin Poems (some of which are taken holus-bolus from Darwin's diaries - he was rather a poet himself), this year's Pulitzer Prize winning Life on Mars by Tracy K Smith, and Urban Biology by Ian Gibbins, who I've just interviewed here. Ian and I spoke at some length (though not long enough...we could have gone on for quite a while more I think) about the intersection between science and poetry. Because the conversation was so good, I didn't get the chance to ask him to read what is probably my favourite poem - "Space Invaders", the slightly tongue-in-cheek, but still chilling piece that opens the book. I'm just giving you a tiny taste from the second stanza. If you want more, visit Gibbins' website.
molecule by precious molecule,
we will infiltrate your haemopoietic stream,
until your body fluids flow as thin as solar wind.
Like bamboo beneath your fingernails,
we will reduce all commuincation
to compromise and distant coments,
adrift in the cloying starlight.