Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Adapted from a quote attributed to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson
(NaPoWriMo Day 3... a little early) 

“...the very molecules that make your body,
the atoms that construct the molecules,
 are traceable to the crucibles
that were once the centers of high mass stars
that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy,
enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life.

“...we are all connected  biologically,
to the earth chemically
and  to the rest of the universe atomically.
That’s kinda cool!
That makes me smile
I actually feel quite large at the end of that.

 “It’s not that we are better than the universe,
We are part of the universe.
We are in the universe
and the universe is in us.

(c) Julie Bartha-Vasquez

Notes on the Poem:
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the bad-assiest science
god on Earth
  • Posted early because I have a busy day tomorrow.
  • This is my first-ever attempt at a "Found Poem." For those of you wondering what the hell that is, a Found Poem, takes words and prose from other sources and turns them into a poem. 
  • I needed something inspirational and I've always loved this quote from the world's most bad-ass astrophysicist. The language at the beginning ..."molecules...  traceable to the crucibles... centers of high mass stars... [exploding] their chemically rich guts into the galaxy" paints such a gorgeous picture! It was practically begging for a Found Poem work-up. My only regret is that I couldn't confirm with 100% certainty that he was the source of the quote. I can not find a cited source material. But most reputable sources attribute it to NdGT. Still, I'd love to know in what book he wrote it, in what lecture he said it or in what AMA Reddit he blurbed it specifically so I can confirm its authenticity. I prefer accuracy.
  • But in the meantime, as an exercise in Found-Poetry-Making, I kept most of the quote intact with some minor word changes ("ands," "thes" removed) to improve the line flow. The line breaks were chosen to emphasize the musicality of the language.
  • "We are in the universe /and the universe is in us." It says it all, but needs the rest of the poem to give the final words their punch."
  • I'm not sure if the line breaks are The Line Breaks for this poem... it probably needs more fiddling around with to get it from Dashed-Off, let's try-it-for-the-hell-of-it ready to This is Capital P Poetry ready. But it's a start. Again, if any poets with way more experience that I have constructive thoughts on how to make these better, please share comments below.


1 comment:

  1. Great job! Wonder if there is a way to actually contact him and source the quote?