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Poetry and Astronomy

    Naturevolume 140page146 (1937) | Download Citation



    DR. F. W. Grover, professor of electrical engineering, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., has contributed to the Scientific Monthly of June an article in which are brought together a number of striking passages in poetry referring to astronomical objects and phenomena. Milton, Dante, Tennyson and Longfellow are naturally given the chief prominence in these extracts, but there are also beautiful passages from Browning, Housman and others. Dr. Grover refers appreciatively to Mr. Alfred Noyes's “Watchers of the Sky”, but wonders why the new knowledge of the starry heavens makes so small an appeal to contemporary poets, whose fancies rarely stray into this virgin field. “Yet,” he says, “it would be a fascinating task, and one demanding no mean ability, to picture the whirl of the spectroscopic binaries, and the rhythmic oscillation of the Cepheid variables, to describe the individualities of the giant and dwarf stars, or to soar in imagination to the confines of an expanding universe.”

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