Following the success of our first poetry competition last year, Chandra X-ray Observatory and Jonathan Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, have run a second competition, in which Creative Writing students at De Montfort University in the U.K. were invited to write poems inspired by some of Chandra’s findings and research areas. For the first installment, two out of the four winning entries are shown below (See also part two). All of the entries explore, in their different ways, the overlap between poetry and scientific discovery. Congratulations to the winners and everyone involved for making this unique competition possible.

You can read other student poems inspired by Chandra here and here. Jonathan Taylor's own three poems for Chandra include:

Black Hole in B-Flat
History Lesson
!!**&@??

Nickname GRS 1915

embracing
the evaporating definitions
of space and time
blurred
like the disk clothing me
matter
in a fight
of gravitation
and radiation

torn between
feeding me
and starving me
If space is the body
I am the heart
pulsing in X-Rays
pumping energy through veins
jets trying to outrun
the speed of light

I am the heart

I
am -

14 solar masses
950 cycles per second
binary system GRS 1915+105
nickname GRS 1915
milky way galaxy

 

40 000 light years away

 

where you will never reach me
to feel the rhythm of my heartbeat
interfering with yours

Katharina Maria Kalinowski
Inspired by: http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/11_releases/press_011211.html


A breeze amidst the torches

She is heavier than her worth,
light and dark intertwine;
a kind of poetry, a simple line
pulled into its own skin.

A former star, black with envy
and consumed by greed,
starts to feed
on her surrounding sisters.

This bloated black hole
slows life’s growth,
an all-consuming ghost
that perches between them all.

She’s Nothing, generating Something
so bright it can’t be seen,
two long, streaming screams
call out into silence.

T. A. Wingfield
Inspired by: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2012/hgs/

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