Poems About The Universe: Poets are often more sensitive and introspective kinds. Objects of natural beauty often appeal to them and render messages holding diverse connotations. The beauty of the night sky, especially the stars and the universe that holds the galaxies of stars, have been the objects of romanticism for several poets throughout the ages.
Stars and space, as objects of poetry, have had many treatments. While the romantic poets like Keats and Wordsworth have employed them as the predominant romanticism objects in their poetry, poets like Emily Dickenson have alluded to it with her distant and separated beloved.
Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.
The north star is often treated as the guiding angel for humans at sea, thereby hoping and destination. The vastness of the space and universe is often compared to the vastness of unknown knowledge that lies at the end of life and the beginning of death.
10 Poems About The Universe
Here are ten poems that talk about celestial objects as their prime subjects:
The Light of Stars by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Longfellow had initially composed this poem in the summer of 1838. However, it was finally published in Longfellow’s poetical works in 1891, posthumously. This poem is the product of a very emotional tumultuous phase in Longfellow’s life, and here we can see how he praises and talks about the glory of the stars and the night sky.
He highlights the star’s power, calls it one having ‘unconquered will’, and further uses adjectives such as ‘resolute,’ ‘self-possessed’, ‘calm’, and ‘serene’ to describe it.
Here the poet ascribes a lot of power to the star and calls it ‘A hero’s armour’. However, the poet also attaches certain soft qualities to the star and calls it ‘the tender star of love and the star of dreams.
I Saw no Way – Emily Dickenson stitched the Heavens
This poem is an abstract poem that does not ascribe to the conventional decorums of structuralism and is often said to be obscured. This poem is Dickenson’s cue and perspectives towards the vastness of the universe and the insignificance of both Earth and its humans compared to that.
The poet says how she has ‘touched the Universe’, and the universe has slid open and displayed its greatness to her, and she felt lonely and secluded as a ‘speck upon a Ball’ – this delivers to the readers that Earth and its humans are nothing but a ‘speck’ compared to the wide of the universe.
Bright Star by John Keats
Bright Star is a sonnet composed by one of the prime romantic poets between 1818 and 1819. Here, the poet talks about a permanent and consistent love and compares it with the permanence and endurance of the north star.
‘yet still steadfast, still
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s
Ripening breast’ – here he talks about how the star does not change and evermore shines on his lover’s bosom. The poet says that this star watches the Earth beneath with its ‘eternal lids apart.
A Night piece by William Wordsworth
This poem has a particularly introspective and observational tone. The set up is of a certain night when the narrator, presumably the poet, is walking underneath a cloud clad sky and observing, contemplating and delineating the picture that he beholds before himself.
This poem is written wielding Wordsworth’s established theory of emotions recollected in tranquillity. In the poem, he observes the movements of the clouds and the moons and stars that seem both static and dynamic at the same time.
From experiencing the universe, the poet is left in a deep and contemplative temperament with a feeling of ‘peaceful calm’ and delight.
To a Star by Lucretia Maria Davidson
This poem shares its temperament with Keats’ Bright star. Davidson goes about praising the grandeur of the star in the night sky in this poem.
“Thou little sparkling star of
Thou gen upon an azure
How swiftly will I soar to
When this imprisoned soul is
Free!” – here, the poet talks about how the human body is a cage holding back the soul from uniting with the glorious star. The poet addresses the star as ‘brightly glittering, with ‘fluttering spirit’ etcetera.
Sonnet 14 by William Shakespeare
Here Shakespeare challenges the conventional practices of predicting the future from the stars; however, he delineates how he sees the replica of the ‘constant star’ in the eyes of his beloved, and vice versa.
“But from thine eyes my
Knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I
Read such art”.
By looking at the ‘constant star’, the poet realizes that two features, the truth and beauty, can coexist in one podium on this earth.
Ah, Moon – and Star! By Emily Dickinson
This poem by Emily Dickenson is a love poem, written in a very non-conventional approach. This is an ode to her beloved, who is very far away from her, and she conjectures by observing the celestial object that even those are not as distant from her as her beloved.
Dickenson lays the fact that, because she cannot live in unison with her lover, they can be called ‘star-crossed lovers.
“But, Moon, and Star,
Though you’re very far-
There is one-farther than you
-“here she is clearly talking about her beloved, who is actually the farthest from her while being the closest to her.
Stars over the Dordogne – by Sylvia Plath
This poem is very liberally crafted by the poem, where she allows the readers to hold their personal perspectives of the world while developing her individual take about the same through the length of the poem.
In this poem, the poet demonstrates the stars’ physical state as they lie on the stretch of the sky. She elucidates how the stars are ‘hanging shyly under the studded horizon’ and they ‘drop silently’, ‘dropping thick as stones.
The Starlight night by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Here, the poet does a very different treatment of the night sky. Unlike the other poets, who have mostly compared the night sky to a singular object, Hopkins compares the night sky to a spectrum of subjects and elucidates his stance on doing so.
He has compared the stars embedding the sky to diamonds, to the eyes of elves, and even ‘fire folks’. He has compared the night sky’s darker and shadowy patches to mines that withhold ‘quick gold.
This shows that he is referring to the diamonds of the sky or the stars as the gold or the gem that remains hidden in the mines or caves that are the darker patches.
Winter Stars by Sara Teasdale
It is often conjectured that this poem was written in the backdrop of world war 1, and in spite of that, we find relevance with it in our contemporary times. This poem talks, particularly about the Orion galaxy.
The poet says how, while the world beneath keeps on fighting and battling, the stars remain the same, shining its glorious light. This gives humanity a message that nature does not stop for the irrational frictions that humans are involved in. It is just humanity that gets affected by its behaviour.
Concluding, here is an overview of the multiple treatments of the celestial beauty that poets have made throughout the history of literature.
What are some poems about space?
10 of the Best Poems about Space and the Planets
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ‘The Light of Stars’. …
- Emily Dickinson, ‘Ah Moon – and Star! …
- Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘The Starlight Night’. …
- A. E. Housman, ‘Astronomy’. …
- Robert Frost, ‘But Outer Space’. …
- Carl Sandburg, ‘Moonset’.
What is space poetry?
As much a picture as a text, these poems use space creatively and invite the reader/viewer to interact with it. … In fact, since linear reading is disrupted, the reader must use the space to navigate their way through the poem.
Who wrote a man said to the universe?
Stephen Crane was one of America’s foremost realistic writers, and his works have been credited with marking the beginning of modern American Naturalism.
What is the universe by May Swenson about?
“The Universe” by May Swenson explores the concept of the term universe and what it means. The poem does not have overt sound effects in the way one might think, such as the use of onomatopoeia (words that have sound associations such as wham or splat) or other sound descriptors.