Poetry Inspired by Chandra Discoveries

Science is a distinctly human endeavour that overlaps with many other fields.

Scientific discoveries can provide inspiration for music, art, literature and poetry. As an example of the latter, over several years we have hosted the results of poetry competitions run by Jonathan Taylor, a lecturer in Creative Writing at The University of Leicester in the UK. Jonathan asks students to write a poem based on one of the results in our press or image releases.

Bethan Nutting won the latest competition and her winning poem is included below, along with the press release it was based on. Bethan is 20 years old and is a Second Year English student at The University of Leicester. Her hobbies include reading and writing copious amounts of YA fiction instead of studying, and traveling to South Korea once a year. She is an aspiring travel writer and novelist.

Other student poems from previous competitions are included here, here, here, and here. Poems by Jonathan Taylor that were also inspired by Chandra discoveries are “Black Hole in B-flat”, “History Lesson” and “!!**&@??”.

Stellar Homicide

We are gathering evidence from a crime scene,
dusty remains,
splatters of helium gas,
grotesque galactic carnage.

2.7 billion light years away the hole lurks
preparing to breathe in its next unlucky target,
to satisfy the void,
and 2.7 billion light years away, we observe.

The supermassive monster lies in wait for unsuspecting victims,
You might call it a stellar homicide.
There is no escape from the black death.
If you wander too close it’s all over.

It’s not the first time.
It won’t be the last.

Bethan Nutting
Based on the Press Release: ‘Black Hole Caught Red-handed in a Stellar Homicide’, from May 2012.

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