The Sestina of KT
The Sestina of KT
If they could only see her face
and the pride in executing these techniques.
Was she a work horse freed from her stable?
No! She is as free as the optical bird
flying above the Earth. “Oh Hubble!
I’ve come to fix your trouble!”
Nation: take time and trouble
to see freedom upon the face
of the attendant of Hubble;
with extraordinary skillful technique
holding a caged wing of the broken bird
drifting downtide toward a distinguished stable.
It takes an astronaut with style so stable
to considers it no trouble
to liberate a fellow solar bird:
reflections of white diamonds in the face-
mask of a sorceress, practicing her technique,
on the broken parts of Hubble.
Caged in her two hands is Hubble,
reconnoitered in its high tech stable
responding to input of dexterous technique:
There is nothing trivial about this trouble.
Road lights are maps of highways on the face-
plate. “How high am I?” asks this American bird.
The wings flap and waver as the paneled bird
escapes her hands. She looks down on Hubble.
The muscles relax: a smile on the face
of a woman who is able, to stand in the stable
of the horses of Apollo. It is no trouble
going forth with privileged technique.
She found her own working techniques
as her tired, heated wings, like a bird
of prey, were cooled by the flowing troubled
draught. She prays for answers from Hubble,
in a universe which may be expanding or stable;
to report the narrations on time’s face.
A rollout of new technique re expresses Hubble
as this thunderbird escapes by a flaming stable.
No more trouble upon this angel’s face.
Matt Quinn challenged us to a Sestina. I wrote this in 1993, when astronaut Kathryn Thronton fixed the Hubble Telescope along with her fellow astronauts.
The other astronauts called her KT. She teaches at University of Virginia now.
Here NASA bio:
Her bio currently at UVA/Engineering Department
Powerful magnetic forces tangled
in the solar wind, fracture and shatter
then rejoin with vengeance till flares, mangled
and twisted in bits of stellar matter,
pop-off on the solar surface. It’s jazz
played with frenzied brutality. It’s twitching
epileptically toward the poles. Viewed as
dynamic motions, it keeps enriching
catastrophic solar events. The sun
is miasmic. It is a complex beast.
It churns and quivers. It stops for no one.
A ball of hydrogen, to say the least!
Fluids ebb and flow on a disc shaped star,
materials suddenly fling out far.
The Sun is a seething ball of ionized gas, called plasma, and has very complex magnetic fields that interact with this plasma. The Solar activity impacts the magnetic fields of the Earth. It also has significant influence on Earth’s weather.
The picture comes from:
> Logo of the Center for NanoScience was “written” by pushing around
atoms of Gold [PTCDA = Au(11) using a nanomanipulator.”]
Atomic beach balls tossed beyond the bumps
of solid golden strips will now design
a strange imaginary landscape. Clumps
of particles appear to now entwine.
Electrons guided with some magic wands
create a message to my covered eyes.
These nanonistic, small molec’lar bonds
reveal to me all earthly matter ties.
I track and hover through the quarks of chance
enthralled by how our measurements can rule
the future of all technical advance;
A strange discovery: a student’s tool.
By thought and reason great ones had their turn.
now, with my hands, some new things I shall learn.
I wrote this one in 1993 after attending an IEEE convention in Seattle and learning about the Nanomanipulator. Warren Robinet was speaking and he said, “Imagine atoms the size of beach balls…” He was referring to a futuristic version of the nanomanipulator, where a virtual image of atoms (like a hologram) would be in the air, right in front of your face. You would have the capability of moving atoms around, like moving beach balls in the air. But that would not be a dream. That would not be a game. It would be a virtual interface to a nanomanipulator, and you would really be moving around atoms within the scanning tunneling microscope. He discussed how in the future, this could be a pedagogical method of teaching chemistry. That is, the students would learn molecular structure by actually moving around the virtual atoms and creating molecules.
His presentation was very stimulating, so I wrote this sonnet. I sent to him, and he sent it to the lab. They posted the sonnet on the bulletin board in their lab, and then Russell M. Taylor published the sonnet in the appendix of “The nanomanipulator: a virtual-reality interface for a scanning tunneling microscope.” http://www.warrenrobinett.com/nano/index.html
A great link to get an idea of how a nanomanipulator moves atoms around would be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W7lcYoBA98
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:
Open Link Night, Week 27
The Space Station’s golden solar arrays
squeeze out the last morsel of energy
from each orbit. An instrument surveys
all dosages of power at every
diurnal spin as they revolve around
the planet. Large measures of power will
be sucked into the batteries. Compound
silicon solar cells dominate. Still,
it is the rotary joint that lets
the panels track the sun and seize
the rays. ISS spins until it sets
into shadow. It performs this with ease
just like a geometry, zipping all through
limited plasma fields of cobalt blue.
This comes from @Astro_Ron ‘s (Ron Garan) http://twitpic.com/4s3pix
This was a difficult sonnet to write in that it contained many engineering concepts. In general, it’s easier to incorporate science into poetry than it is to incorporate engineering.
Open Link Night, Week 26