Illustration of the frame-dragging effect in which space and time are dragged around a massive body


Newton thought space and time were absolute
then Einstein discussed relativity.
It was easy to prove an attribute
of an attractive force: captivity
of bodies, was not new. Now imagine
a planet immersed in honey: as it
rotates, it swirls and pulls with an action
much like spinning space time. In an orbit
around the earth, four precise gyroscopes
measure this effect. Quantized current flows
until it detects magnetic stream slopes
differential. A spin-axis opposes
new directions. The strength of gravity
can’t match the speed of light’s velocity.


This sonnet is about gravity Probe B (GP-B), a mission sponsored by NASA aimed to prove the effects of Albert Einstein’s 1916 general theory of relativity.

Rather than quoting them verbatim, you can read more about this project on:,0

Posted on:

Open Link Night, Week 27

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on May 24, 2011, in Poetry, Sonnets and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Excellent post thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading and also writing poetry myself. Feel free to check it out. You have a great layout here!

  2. Love the combination of science and poetry, and the images involved. Plus, relativity is a special interest of mine, and it’s incorporation into literature.

    Good stuff, and nice blog!

  3. Sweet as always 🙂

  4. Here’s my favorite line:

    “Now imagine
    a planet immersed in honey: as it
    rotates, it swirls and pulls with an action
    much like spinning space time.”

    I can’t help it. My dad was a beekeeper and so I like honey. 🙂

    You continue to impress & amaze me with your Sonnets. Congrats on making the front page! I look forward to more.

  5. I was doing research on simple ways to explain relativity, and I found that explanation. What I try to do in my poems, is make science and space down to earth.

    As for bees, if you love bees, you should read “The Secret Life of Bees.” Here’s the author’s website.

    They made a movie after the book. Great cast. It’s a pretty good movie. But the book is much better. Have you read the book or seen the movie?

  6. Thanks for writing your sonnet about Gravity Probe B. I was impressed by how much science you compressed into this most difficult of verse forms.

    • Thank you so much for reading my sonnet and also for making a comment. I assume you are on the project, so I am very honored to get this attention from you.

      It should not come as a surprise that I can write these science poems. I’m an aerospace engineer with BS (in AAE) and also have a BA in English. I’ve been writing space poetry since Apollo 17 The science ones are not as hard to write as the engineering ones. See

      I have a sonnet published in “The Nanomaipulator: A Virtual-Reality Interface to a Scanning Tunneling Microscope” – dissertation by Dr. Russell M. Taylor II, UNC.

      To my knowledge, this is the first publication on the nanomanipulator. I’ll post that, one of these days, I just need to find a picture to go with it.

  7. I was never big on science did better in biology but these sonnets seem to pull me in.very good job! Tammy

  8. Like how you weaved this one together, from absolute to relative and stuff I knew too.

  9. WOW- I loved this simile of physics inmersed in honey- great

  10. Tammy…this one is fantastic! Love the imagery…I CAN imagine (thanks to your words!) and your finish is brilliant. Gotta love OpenLinkNight!

  11. This drew me in and made me want to know more. There was some magic happening here.

  12. there’s so much more to this piece than just science… greatly written & very balanced

  13. An amazing read. I felt like the bubble spins as it goes around and around the plug hole before it slips down into it. That is how your sonnet draws people in. A really lovely write.

  14. just love your galactic sonnets tammy…a planet immersed in honey… i think i CAN imagine this…hmmmm…

  15. You’ve got a major talent there – writing about science, in verse, yet. Do you write with your toes too, just for the extra challenge? 🙂 Well done.

  16. you know…every time i read you i get a bit smarter…smiles…will share this one with my son when i get home…he will appreciate…the honey imagery def helps it make sense too…

  17. Wow! Heavy stuff, Zongrik!

  18. Your writing is amazing, in the fact that I find this subject now interesting

  19. Good to see the comments coming for 183rd!

  20. Another great sonnet 🙂

  21. Man, I wish I could write like that. We need more general relatvity in our poetry to sweep out the still lingering cobwebs left by Ptolemy.

  22. Science and poetry! One or the other academy is bound to run you off for blaspheme, my bet is on the scientist. 🙂 really enjoyed this, from and subject matter.

  23. really interesting to read the content in with the cadence of a sonnet…very cool.

  24. Dear Zongrik

    Reminds me of Stephen Hawking… Interesting write..


    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At twitter @VerseEveryDay

  25. Exquisite– a beautifully unique sonnet… i’m logged in as wordpress but my poem for dverse is up at… xxxj

  26. well penned sonnet, enjoy how your words make things so tangible in thought. you connect the worlds very well. ~ Rose

  27. nice write.. quite a unique Sonnet that I had read so far..Very informative yet poetic in this way 🙂 .Enjoyed reading your sonnet .. zongrik..

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