Parenthood and space travel may seem like two unrelated topics, but when combined, they can create a powerful and emotional experience. In this blog post, we will explore some poetry that delves into the impact of parenthood on astronauts and how it affects their experiences in space.
- “Space” by Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith, former Poet Laureate of the United States, wrote a moving poem titled “Space” that explores the perspective of a mother who is also an astronaut. In the poem, the mother contemplates the distance between her and her child while on a mission in space. She describes the “bitterness of absence” and the struggle to find “the words to tell [her] daughter what [she] hopes [she] might forget.” The poem is a powerful reflection on the sacrifices that come with being both a parent and an astronaut.
- “The Astronaut’s Wife” by Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy, former Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, wrote a poem called “The Astronaut’s Wife” that imagines the thoughts and feelings of a woman whose husband is an astronaut. The poem explores the fear and uncertainty that come with being left behind while the astronaut embarks on a dangerous mission. The wife wonders if her husband will return and what kind of person he will be when he does. The poem is a poignant reflection on the emotional toll that space travel can take on families.
- “The View from Here” by Susan Musgrave
“The View from Here” is a poem by Canadian poet Susan Musgrave that offers a unique perspective on parenthood and space travel. The poem describes a mother who is on a space mission with her daughter. While the mother is focused on the mission, her daughter is captivated by the beauty of space. The mother reflects on how her daughter’s experience of space is different from her own and how the experience of being a parent has changed her perspective on space travel. The poem is a beautiful reflection on the intersection of parenthood and space exploration.
- “Astronaut” by Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith’s poem “Astronaut” explores the idea of leaving one’s child behind to embark on a space mission. The poem describes the “weightlessness” of space and the “heaviness” of leaving behind the ones we love. The astronaut in the poem wonders what her child will think of her when she returns and whether their bond will be the same. The poem is a powerful reflection on the sacrifices that come with being an astronaut and a parent.
The impact of parenthood on astronauts is a complex and emotional topic that has inspired some powerful poetry. These poems offer a unique perspective on the sacrifices and challenges that come with being both a parent and an astronaut, and they remind us of the importance of family and connection even in the vast expanse of space.
If you enjoy exploring the themes discussed above, consider the poems in Consequence of Gravity (linked below).