Thursday, January 13, 2011

Science Poems for January 2011: 13

Last April I posted a science sonnet a day in celebration of National Poetry Month (index with links here). This January I am posting a science poem a day, written in various traditional forms, in honor of Science Online 2011. The conference starts today! *Waves*

The "fifth annual international meeting on Science and the Web" runs through Jan. 16, 2011. Click on the logo below to access their daily digest on

As with the sonnets, my January poems take their cues from science-based articles. I also have two works in a special science poem section (vol. 33 #5/6) of Star*Line, journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can read my "Ciliate Sestina" here.

Also, two sonnets from last April's collection, "In Development" and "Manipulations," have made it into Open Laboratory 2010 Click on the badge below for links to the 50 essays, 6 poems, and 1 cartoon in the collection.

Today's poem, inspired by Science Online's Open Mic, takes its cue from "Favourite music evokes same feelings as good food or drugs" (Alok Jha, UK Guardian, Jan. 9, 2011). Click on the article link to learn more about the research. To learn more about the traditional poetic structure used, click on the form name below the title.

Tone Poem
(Form: Rondeau)

When song meets soul, its notes reward the brain,
For dopamine repeats a glad refrain
To give us goosebumps, hair that stands on end.
A tune can have the wherewithal to send
Our senses reeling surely as cocaine.

And like delicious food, it makes us gain
Appreciation that we long retain.
Cognition and our motivations blend
When song meets soul.

What rocks your world might make my feelings wane,
But when the music clicks, my joy is plain.
No matter what may send us 'round the bend,
Adagio or techno, we will tend
A tonal high as natural as rain
When song meets soul.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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