We are honored to display the #PoetsForScience project

…in collaboration with the Wick Poetry Center of Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences. 


These poems were curated by Jane Hirshfield — a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and a member of the Natural History Institute Advisory Council — for display at the March for Science on the National Mall last spring.  Jane’s poem, “On the Fifth Day,” was written for that gathering.  

“On the Fifth Day” and “Optimism”, another Jane Hirschfield poem, are now on permanent display at the Institute along with two others:   “Witness” by W.S. Merwin and “For All” by Gary Snyder.


Why a merger of poetry and science in the practice of natural history?

As Jane Hirshfield stated,

“Poetry and science aren’t opposites. They are the two feet of one walking….  Both poetry and science search out new understandings, understandings so close to being beyond reach that hard-won, precise expression is the only way to find and convey them at all….  Poetry and science each seek to ground our lives both in what exists and in the acknowledgment of mystery and awe, of what is still past grasping but not past feeling.”


We are grateful to the Wick Poetry Center of Kent State University, the Academy of American Poets, and Jane Hirshfield for their continued support of the Natural History Institute.