our own experiments
Chrysovalantou gave us a beautiful article last week about the intimate relationship between science and poetry, and her special connection to both. Intrigued by this new, exciting way to communicate science, we followed her to a Science Poetry workshop, given by Sam Illingworth as part of the official programme of the EUSEA 2021 Conference. After the workshop, we made a pact to keep working on our poems and see if we dare share them. So, here are the results of this experiment, together with some simple guidelines, in case you want to set up your own experiment too!
Kelly: Nonet for the Environment
All of the smoke that you release
From the abysse of your insides
Promise this will help me move
But makes me slowly die
I have to evolve
To rise on top
To breath again
Poems with rhyme requirements scare me. I always thought I would lose the context over the specifications. So, when asked to write my first ever poem, let alone a science related one, I was kind of petrified.’
A nonet is simple. It is a poem with nine lines, each line gradually losing a syllable: the first line has nine syllables, the second eight and so on, until the last line of one single syllable. This framework gives you structure, something a scientist like myself needs, but at the same time gives you the ability to explore and the freedom to break the rhyming rules. Also, a commodity scientists long for, breaking the set rules.
Natasa: three haikus for waste
White sand and
piles of algae from yesterday’s storm –
in red and blue.
I stuff an extra scarf in my backpack
and the extra oranges
in the dustbin.
A warm bundle of berry seeds
a bear just pooped here.
Haikus originally come from Japan. To me, they always looked like random short sentences broken into three lines. As I found out in the workshop, though, they have quite a set of rules (or characteristics), compared to their size:
- They have 17 syllables or less
- They are about nature (human nature counts, too!)
- They include a reference to the season
- They are a snapshot written in present tense
- They include a cutting word, a juxtaposition
It was lots of fun to play with the rules; to see how the imagination spills around these boundaries, and what shapes it takes.
Chrysovalantou : Ολικά και ελάχιστα
Οι διευθύνσεις όμως άπειρες
Και η συντομοτέρα πάντα
Αυτό που σε ελαχιστοποιεί
που όσο και
πρέπει πάντα να υπολογίζεις καλά
το επόμενο βήμα
για να κάνεις τη δρασκελιά.
Κι ας κάνεις λάθος.
Τι να τα κάνεις όταν έχεις
We hope we got you curious about experimenting with some poetry, too! You have the rules, and you have evidence that there is worse. Now, wear your cape of imagination too, and let the words flow on the paper!
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