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More Things in Heaven and Earth: Poets and Astronomers Read the Night Sky Edition unstated; Signed Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0969082873
ISBN-10: 0969082878
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In 1995 David Levy returned to Acadia to receive an honorary doctorate of science. On that occasion he delivered an inspirational Convocation Address that brought the audience to its feet and that forms the Introduction to this book. Comparing the gravitational power of Jupiter, which shattered Comet S-L 9 into twenty-one pieces, to the Moon's gravity which causes the world's highest tides in the Bay of Fundy, Levy said in his address, "I felt the power of S-L 9 being torn apart by Jupiter when I was at Cape Split four days ago. For one hour, I heard the Moon roar." Levy regards the cataclysmic collision of these fragments with Jupiter as a wonderful opportunity to get a whole new generation excited about science, as people were thrilled by the space missions culminating in the 1969 Moon landing. He has appeared at many high school auditoriums around Nova Scotia giving his memorable presentations of cosmic happenings. But Levy, whose Bachelor's and Master's degrees were both in English Literature with emphasis on poetry, also points out the poetry that is in science and the science in poetry, citing the great poets who have written about the night sky, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Donne, Keats, Tennyson, Hopkins and Frost. The celestial collision of 1994, the greatest in the history of astronomy, was to him as much about poetry as about science; it was for him a climactic moment in the pursuit of a dream that began with long nights on the roof of Acadia's Crowell Tower residence in Wolfville.

"In the mold of scholars, artist-scientist Levy is now inscribed in those very heavens, travelling the orbit of twenty-one comets....David Levy is a natural symbol of the oldest of truths, the continuum of artistic and scientific expression. From David's story let our universities learn again this essential truth. By lifting our spirits to such majestic heights perhaps he can help put back together on earth what mere mortals have torn asunder, the union of art and science." -- from the Foreword by distinguished scientist and Acadia President Kelvin K. Ogilivie.

This 128-page book is abundantly illustrated, both with extensive quotations from the poets and with spectacular photographs, many in colour, of comets, eclipses and other notable stellar events. Book design and dust jacket art are by graphic artist Steven Slipp of Semaphor Design, Halifax. The Wombat Press established its reputation for handsome bookmaking with Poems and Drawings of Elizabeth Siddal, Scroll and The Collected Poems of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts.

About the Author

A Canadian citizen who grew up in Montreal and attended Acadia (B.A.) and Queen's (M.A.), David Levy now resides in Tucson, Arizona because of the astronomer's `celestial imperative,' the need for a constant, unobstructed view of the night sky available at that location. This is his seventeenth book, the others all dealing with astronomy and astronomers. He is also a sought-after journalist, lecturer and TV personality (watch for the program Three Minutes To Impact on the Discovery Channel, featuring Levy being interviewed on location at Cape Split, near Wolfville, Nova Scotia).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Wombat Pr; Edition unstated; Signed edition (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0969082878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0969082873
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,372,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Amateur Astronomer David Levy is best known as co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which crashed into the planet Jupiter in 1994. However, David is not only an avid amateur astronomer, but a student of English Literature and History as well. His recently published book, "More Things in Heaven and Earth," takes it's title from a quote in Shakespeare, in which Hamlet says to Horatio, "There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy ."
Although David is known as a comet hunter, he stresses that astronomy is not just the study of heavenly bodies, but actually the "study of everything." For the science of astronomy embraces physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology, just to name a few scientific disciplines.
But just as poetry is not just for poets, he says, astronomy is not just for astronomers. It is for everyone. As amateur astronomers, and poets, we are entitled to enjoy the beauty of the universe, just as scientists are entitled to describe it in scientific terms.
Poets are often astronomers, and astronomers are often poets. David's book shows the inter-relationship of scientists who made great astronomical discoveries: Tycho Brahe, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, with the great poets who wrote about the spiritual and emotional impact of astronomy, people like Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau, Fances Bacon, Alfred Lord Tenneyson, and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
In his free flowing text, David has selected some of the best examples of astronomical poetry in the English Language, and assembled and described them in an attractively laid out book.
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I bought this book hoping that it would be as good as it sounded, and I was richly rewarded. Levy's volume spans the astronomical poetry of Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, Keats, and many others. It is an all too rare type of book -- one that illuminates the overlap between the arts and the sciences. I keep it close by my desk, and turn to it when I need inspiration. Highly recommended.
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