Poetry of the Natural Sciences

Close-up of a rose

Image from freeimages.co.uk

At first glance poetry and the natural sciences may seem far apart.  As Padel (2011) notes, though, both poetry and science look at concrete particulars (¶ 7).

Rillero (1999) describes the use of haiku in a biology class.  Since haiku concern nature and use few words, they can encourage students to closely observe nature (pp. 346-347).

In other words both scientists and poets deal with messy details.  A  draft  (2014) of the  ACRL Framework encourages us to “embrace the ‘messiness’ of research” (p. 10).

I wrote a second National Poetry Month post to give the natural sciences equal time.  Once more we can observe information literacy in action, too.


Association of College & Research Libraries (2014). Framework for information literacy for higher education: Draft 3.  Retrieved from http://acrl.ala.org/ilstandards/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Framework-for-IL-for-HE-draft-3.pdf

 Padel, R. (2011, December 9). The science of poetry, the poetry of science. The Guardian.  Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/dec/09/ruth-padel-science-poetry

Rillero, P. (1999, March/April). Haiku and science: Observing, reflecting, and writing about nature.  Journal of College Science Teaching, 28(5), 345-347.