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Plutonic Sonnets [Paperback]

by Robert Bates Graber
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 3, 2008 1607032244 978-1607032243
If you don’t know what buckets of urine, a Russian bigamist, a kleptomaniac, or French Lick has to do with the history of science, this is the book for you! After Pluto got plutoed, a friend waggishly asked, “Does plutonium still get to be an element?” Thus was the anthropologist sent into a new field, one he discovered, and herein reveals, to be teeming with the remarkable people, events, and ideas involved with the discovery and naming of the planets and the elements. The Shakespearean sonnet form is his main vehicle for conveying his findings in a way that is lively, witty, and wise.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: PublishAmerica (November 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607032244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607032243
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,821,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I picked this book up intending to read just a few sonnets and couldn't put it down! Not only is it well written and well researched, it's very entertaining. Dr. Graber did his homework as far as Percival Lowell and the Lowell Observatory are concerned, even quoting directly from the correspondence in the Lowell archives. I highly recommend this book as a way to learn about everything from Pluto (the god) to Pluto (the planet) to plutonium. Enjoy! Antoinette Beiser
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Rob Graber has breathed new life into old tales, even while telling them in traditional sonnet style. His sonnets are threads woven into a fascinating story that wraps itself around your mind and dares you to ignore the urge to turn the page.

Through a fantastic combination of imagery and unique language usage, the reader is mesmerized by gods and goddesses, mythology and fact. This author utilizes his skill with words to take his readers on an adventure, pondering mythology, creation, human nature, and astronomy.

Whether you are a fan of classic poets or simply looking for something fresh in the world of poetry, Plutonic Sonnets will not disappoint.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plutonic Sonnets October 24, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A friend recommended this book to me and before I could decline she ran to her library to grab it off the shelf. I was going to placate her by reading a few of the sonnets from Mr Gaber's book. However, once I started to read the sonnets I could not put the book down. When my husband came into the room I started to read some to him. We spent a most delightful evening reading these sonnets to one another. This book is an amazing surprise and quite ingenious. It does leave you longing for more.

Anita Bjorklund
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plutonic Sonnets by Robert B. Graber July 2, 2010
The Shakespearian sonnet is Mr. Graber's form of choice. With that form well in hand Mr. Graber sets off on an interplanetary voyage. One hundred and sixty five thematic sonnets giving us the history of the planets, their discovery and naming. That, and a tangential tale for every step and misstep along the way.

The "Sonnets" is an exploration, a romance, and one steady chuckle. The story begins on Samos, the Greek isle, and ends several centuries later in Arizona, more or less. Along the way Mr. Graber's cast of characters, a rambunctious household of Roman gods, and a host of earthly astronomers, scientists and forward thinkers, entwine their fortunes. The result is a planetary system, our own, complete and named. More or less. We learn of the elements that make up the cosmos, we learn why Pluto deserves our compassion, we learn that love is eternal.

This is not dry material. This is a peopled story. This is a story of conflict and resolution. Gods are pitted against mortals, and more often against one another. Scientists and astronomers pitch battle against the status quo and the religious thinking of their era. It is fact vs. fiction vs. fact, for even among the fact seekers, there is rarely consensus.

What makes the "Sonnets" compelling is Mr. Graber's own story, a love story, modest and profound, woven within the larger history. What makes the "Sonnets" a pleasure to read is the humor, which is sometimes low key, sometimes dry wit, sometimes approaching slapstick. My first laugh came early, Sonnet lll, written to Democritus:

"In darkness lies the Sun King, long congealed ,
While in your light the Cosmos stands revealed!"

With that I knew I this journey was going to be fun. And it was.

It is apparent that Mr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ~Out of this World~ July 8, 2013
Robert Bates Graber's book, Plutonic Sonnets, breathes new life into ages past. The naming of the planets and the elements (and the people and places involved) are explored in depth in this utterly unique collection of poetry. At times humorous, at times profound, and always well-written, the book is a blend of science, history, and poetry in a surprisingly apt combination which is unequaled in its creative ingenuity. The poems within this book are well-crafted, entertaining, insightful, and (painlessly) educational. Historical figures are rendered realistically (and often irreverently), as their flaws are celebrated right alongside their ideas and contributions. This lends these subjects accessibility, as they are suddenly propelled from the perceived black and white of history to be repainted in the bold and vibrant hues of the thoughts and attitudes of today. The Shakespearean sonnet is the perfect frame for these glimpses into the past, speaking to their historical nature even as the thoughts presented pull them (and their relevance) into the present-day. The result is something of a museum within a book, wherein all sorts of curious and fascinating exhibits may be found. Whether you're a fan of science, history, or poetry, you will find something to love within this incredibly well-written book.
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Sonnet Meter
my personal problem with the feminine ending is that, whenever i use it in my writing, it gives me a feeling of lack of balance - if i have one line with feminine ending and one with masculine, alternatively, the last couplet (i usually write Shakespearean sonnets, ergo my form goes 4-4-4-2... Read more
Jan 18, 2012 by Liliana Negoi |  See all 3 posts
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