Poetry That’s Out Of This World

by Jessie Roberts


As part of its hiring process, NASA has asked aspiring astronauts to compose poetry:

Among all the medical texts, rigorous background checks, qualifications requirements, and essay questions, the eight new astronauts recently chosen by NASA were also asked to write poetry. … [O]ne of the new recruits shared a limerick he submitted with reporters during a press conference at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Tex., where the eight new astronauts were introduced. According to Victor Glover, a 39-year-old lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, the candidates were asked to compose either a tweet, a haiku, or a limerick. Glover opted to write a limerick:

Eyes fixed, gazing off into space
My mind in awe of the human race
This is all dizzying to me
Because I gave so much blood and pee
Happy to be here, vice the colonoscopy place.

After reciting his limerick, Glover said the poem was funny if you had to go through the interview process, particularly all the medical testing.

NASA has also been seeking poetry submissions from the general public. This summer, people submitted more than 12,500 haiku to NASA’s Going to Mars contest. The winning poem, seen below, will travel to Mars on MAVEN this November along with more than 1100 runners-up:

It’s funny, they named
Mars after the God of War
Have a look at Earth

(Image: NASA. Hat tip: Harriet)