August 1, 2009

The Sonneteer Ponders Habitable Exoplanets

SonneteerI recently had a very pleasant surprise when a Sonneteer accepted a 'sonnet dare' that i posted to her via twitter. I was curious as to how Kate Sherrod the poet behind the typewriter at SupperTime Sonnets--would render the sociological impact of exoplanet discoveries.
And sure enough, I got a wonderful sonnet entitled "In Which I ponder Habitable Planets".
This sonnet expresses the most poetic question ever for planetary science:
"Is earth unique as an abode for life like ours?"
But the best is yet to come. I was not aware that Kate would actually read the sonnet herself! And what a soothing voice I heard when i listened to her KateofMind podcast!
Kudos to Kate for a nice sonnet-rendition of the idea that some folks would still not believe it even if Kepler discovers far-away earth-like worlds. After all, she says--there are still naysayers of the moon landing even after the LRO recently snapped photos of Apollo 11.
Thus, whether Kepler finds Habitable Planets or not, we can still enjoy the sonnet as I did!

In Which I Ponder Habitable Exoplanets

In March the Kepler probe began to seek
The subtle signs of planets far in space
That circle other stars. Is Earth unique
As an abode for life like ours? This place
Which some believe's created just for us
Might not be all that special, all that rare.
But then I ponder on Copernicus,
Who laid the Ptolemaic theory bare
And proved to all the Earth goes round the sun.
It took hundreds of years before some folk
Accepted this, unbanned his book and one
Suspects that out there still, like some great joke
Are people who'll insist his work's all lies
And exoplanets naught but fireflies.