Miroslav Holub — a reflection on accuracy

In science and mathematics, accuracy is key. In this poem, Mirslav Holub (an immunologist) reflects on accuracy. This poem was translated form the Czech by Ewald Osers.

Brief Reflection on Accuracy
    always accurately know where to move and when,
    and likewise
    birds have an accurate built-in time sense
    and orientation.
Humanity, however,
    lacking such instincts resorts to scientific
    research. Its nature is illustrated by the following
A certain soldier
    had to fire a cannon at six o’clock sharp every evening.
    Being a soldier he did so. When his accuracy was
    investigated he explained:
I go by
    the absolutely accurate chronometer in the window
    of the clockmaker down in the city. Every day at seventeen
    forty-five I set my watch by it and
    climb the hill where my cannon stands ready.
    At seventeen fifty-nine precisely I step up to the cannon
    and at eighteen hours sharp I fire.
And it was clear
    that this method of firing was absolutely accurate.
    All that was left was to check that chronometer. So
    the clockmaker down in the city was questioned about
    his instrument’s accuracy.
Oh, said the clockmaker,
    this is one of the most accurate instruments ever. Just imagine,
    for many years now a cannon has been fired at six o’clock sharp.
    And every day I look at this chronometer
    and always it shows exactly six.
Chronometers tick and cannon boom.
Mirslav Holub      



Pick-a-Poem: “Botany”

A fine poem about botany….

The Jet Fuel Review Blog


Welcome, folks, to another Pick-a-Poem post! Each week, we feature a new poem here on the Jet Fuel Review blog. These poems come from a really awesome site called Poetry Daily, which features a new poem every day and has tons of new material for you to read and discover. This week we’re featuring Botany by Sarah Holland-Batt.

According to her bio page, Sarah Holland-Batt is an Australian poet who has won numerous awards. Her first book, Aria, won the Arts ACT Judith Wright Award and was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Kenneth Slessor Prize. She is also the recipient of the WG Walker Memorial Fulbright Scholarship and an Australia Council Literature Residency. She is currently lecturing in Creative Writing at the Queensland University of Technology.

Botany by Sarah Holland-Batt

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caterpillar soup

Its hard to find good Biology poems, but here is one:

Paul Scribbles

exhale all hope

push it out

birth the death

of you

fall back


in one last act

of trust

into the embrace

of the abyss

sink now

into sweet release

inevitable darkness




an eternal shadow

not just blocking

but eliminating

the light

here in this



finally tested

and at this moment

no one

no one

will come

save your




to invite you



with demise

singing this song


let’s make

caterpillar soup

Notes: Poem inspired by an article in Scientific American

Here’s a snippet. For the full article follow the link above.

“But what does that radical transformation entail? How does a caterpillar rearrange itself into a butterfly? What happens inside a chrysalis or cocoon?

First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at…

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