Chabot College - Astronomy Worksheet- Scott Hildreth

Astronomical Poetry

Who will I have been

when I am gone?  

- Rebecca Elson

Research, copy, and analyze at least one poem you like that uses an astronomical object to help evoke a feeling. It could refer to the Sun, Moon, stars, or mention the dawn or dusk. I know -- some of you don't like poetry, or haven't read a poem in years! That's OK. There are wonderful references with all kinds of poems in the library. Try not to just take the first poem you find that has the word "star" in it! Look around, and find one you like!

Discuss in your analysis how the poet used astronomical objects or images to create emotions. 

Aim for at least 250 words or more for your analysis.  A poem submitted without proper citation receives 0 credit.  Late work receives 0 credit.  Before you post your poem, please check our Canvas site and do not duplicate a submission already posted by another student!  If someone has already posted the same poem that you wanted to contribute, you'll have to do another.  Check what has been posted FIRST.

Note: You must include a complete bibliographic reference for credit, whether your poem comes from a book, song, or website. Check the Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, ask the reference librarians in our Learning Resource Center, or check the MLA website ( For more information about scholarly citation expectations, check out the Chabot College Library handouts for work cited pages available at online.

The standard format for a web citation of a poem looks like:

Nesbit, E. "Marching Song." Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism. London, 1908. Victorian Women Writers Project. Ed. Perry Willett. Apr. 1997. Indiana University. 26 Apr. 1997 <>.

If you use the Internet to locate your contribution, you must include the URL, the universal resource locator, that identifies the sources in your work cited lists, but also at a minimum, you must include the name of the site, the author if known, the date the site was created, the institution or organization hosting the site (the publisher), the date you accessed the site, and the URL.

Not including proper citation information is not acceptable in scholarly work nor within today's professional corporate code of ethics. You improve the appearance and strengthen the foundation of any work by demonstrating that you have researched an issue and carefully selected quotes, ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. Conversely, including any part of someone else's work without proper citation immediately undermines your scholarship, exposes you to charges of negligence if not outright plagiarism, and can lead to very undesirable consequences in school and at work. Always cite your sources!

Some of my favorite to get you going (but you can't use these in your submission! :)

how visible

is water charged

with moonlight

                            - Ann Atwood

Does that one star

        see me


                                    - Alexis Rotella

Ross, B. (ed.) 1993 Haiku Moment - An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku. Charles E. Tuttle Co. Inc. Boston






                                    is a







                                          -  Leslie Perkins

    The Falling Star


I saw a star slide down the sky,

Blinding the north as it went by,

Too burning and too quick to hold,

Too lovely to be bought or sold,

Good only to make wishes on

And then forever to be gone.

                                        - Sara Teasdale


Shooting Stars


When stars get loosened

in their sockets,

they shoot off through

the night like rockets.

But though I stay

and watch their trip

and search where they

have seemed to slip,

I never yet have found a chip

to carry in my pockets.

                                            - Aileen Fisher

 Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (1995) Blast Off! Poems About Space.  Harper Collins.

Also, you might want to check out the poetry of Rebecca Elson, an astronomer.  I've linked information about her and some of her work.

8/1/18 - SH

Back to Chabot College's Home Page

Questions/Comments? email me!