Gliese is a red dwarf star (see below for more detail)
In July 2015, I spent time with the glorious book, “Iona, The Other Island’ by Kenneth Steven (Words) and Iain Sarjeant (Photos) I have had permission from Kenneth to post one of his poems which aligns beautifully with the main focus of this blog. I am especially delighted at this, as Kenneth is an author of note, with his books published in sixteen languages and tributes from such as Ted Hughes and Magnus Magnusson I am also grateful to Ann Dankin of Kyleakin in Skye for allowing me to publish her Gaelic translation of Gliese 581. Another veritable feast! This poem features in Kenneth’s book of poetry entitled ‘Evensong’. Links to Kenneth’s website and blog are at the foot of this posting.
If we should find some other star –
Half a century away, still in the silence of the sky –
We’d leave (the ones who had the money for the fare),
This planet gassed and poisoned by our wars.
We’d look back one last time in wonder
On the blue beauty of our home left empty:
A gust of toppled promises,
Growing further off (but never less).
Then dark and doubt, and fifty years
To get to somewhere only telescopes had seen;
Unbegun and perfect,
Our chance to start again.
And in the beginning we’d believe we could;
We’d keep our promises for sure.
But then the shadow of ourselves
Would fall, we would forget –
And on the eighth day
We’d be whispering for war.
And in Gaelic
Gliese is a red dwarf star about 20 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Libra. It has a planets rotating around it and for a while one of them was thought to be the most promising exoplanet for hosting life. More recently the Kepler Space telescope has found more likely candidates at similar distances in space .
See more about Kenneth’s writings and listen to him on his website by clicking here
ALSO Call up Kenneth’s blog (Including the poem ‘Twelve’ by clicking here
ALSO read my comments on the book mentioned at the head of this posting ‘Iona, The Other Island’ HERE