Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rockets and poems

Why aren't there more poems about rockets? I think of the shuttle crew up there repairing the Hubble Space Telescope right this minute. How amazing that is for the child of a rocket engineer in the 1950s. My dad spent most of his career just trying to create a rocket that could make it past the atmosphere. My father called home to his family on the world's first -- FIRST! -- satellite-bounced phone call (it didn't go through - network has always been the problem).

I wonder why there are almost no poems about space. Even my favorite science poet, Pattiann Rogers, has never written one that I know of. If anyone knows of a poem about space or missiles or satellites, please send it.

Of course, there is Gregory Corso's immortal:

Poem Rocket
Be a star-screwer!

Sent to Allen Ginsberg.

Doesn't quite do it for me.


  1. Anonymous5:49 AM

    I have a number of unpublished satellite and space poems; it's difficult to find a market for them, at least in my experience. I'm happy to share them, if you'd like to read.


  2. Mary, I would adore to read them! Please send them. I see from your website that you are eminently qualified for such a creative venture as writing poems that include space and satellites. And I see you have also written a sci-fi novel. Is it available?

  3. Bryan Roth1:43 PM

    I actually do have a poem that mentions Russian space-shots and orbiting space garbage! (I agreek, though...we are living in the space-age; there should be more poetry about that sort of thing!)

  4. Bryan Roth1:45 PM

    Ack! Where is the edit function?! I neglected to proofread that, and--naturally!--noticed a typo AFTER posting it!

  5. Bryan, please send them! I love this, that there are actually rocket/space poems out there. Maybe we can get an anthology together someday.

    Typos are God's way of keeping us humble. No editing function I've ever found on these comments. :)

  6. There are a fair amount of space poems written for children. I have a few myself.

    I'm not sure whether it's a "space" poem or not, but one of my favorites by Frost is "On Looking Up By Chance at the Constellations," which may qualify.

  7. If we could find enough of them, I think an anthology would be a lot of fun. Maybe it's just my inner rocketkid talking, but space poems, especially for children, seems fresh and appealing as a topic. And broad enough to allow for a lot of interesting work. I'd love to see your space poems for kids, Bob, if you're willing to email me some.