Protesters holding up a homemade sign saying "Science is the poetry of reality."

Poetry & Science: Connections

Poetry

By Christy Tidwell

April is National Poetry Month, and although people may not always think of poetry and science together, a wealth of poetry exists that addresses science, technology, and various STEM topics.

In his 2006 poem “Science” (read full poem here), for instance, Robert Kelly writes that “science is the same as poetry / only it uses the wrong words.” Science and poetry are both ways of looking carefully at the world, expressing those observations, and helping us all understand the world more fully – piece by piece, experience by experience.

Kelly also writes that “Science explains nothing / but holds all together as / many things as it can count.” Poetry, too, does not claim to explain the world so much as show it to us. And poetry frequently works by juxtaposing meanings, holding together ideas and images to give readers an opportunity to find new meanings in their combination.