SAVE NASA! PUT POETS ON STAFF
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[A sister petition for DARPA's starship initiative can be found at http://www.change.org/petitions/starship-darpa-add-american-poets-to-your-specifications]
RESTORE NASA AS THE VOICE HEARD ROUND THE WORLD -- PUT POETS ON STAFF AT NASA
Before you laugh, shrug, or think 'wacko', THINK
Do you know where Oriskany or Groton Heights or Ringoes are and what they are about? Probably not. But we'd bet you know what Concord Bridge is about and what the 'shot heard round the world' means. It was a single poem that wrote that event forever into the soul of this nation. Every American knows it. That is the power of poetry at its best. And America has some of the best poets in the world. Imagine what they might do as staff poets for an agency like NASA. Had they been on board from the beginning, NASA might be flourishing today.
SIGN THIS PETITION - RESTORE THE GLORY AND PRIDE OF NASA
Think - Poets are trained to observe what often goes unnoticed; to say what otherwise cannot be said; to record what is missing from our reports; to celebrate things that vanish in a single news cycle.
What all of marketing, publicity and lobbying could not do; a single poem at the right time, in the right place very well might have done. Remember that little poem by Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken?" How many generations of Americans were inspired to take "the road less traveled" and went on to achieve startling and important things in their lives? We don't doubt that many of those who work at NASA know and were fired up by that poem. That is the power of poetry, as mighty as the roar of a rocket engine, yet NASA doesn't have a single poet on staff, not even an occupational catagory for one.
PUT POETS ON NASA STAFF
GIVE THE SOUL OF AMERICA IT'S VOICE
This petition and an online action (www.holopoet.com/public/mission-accomplished.htm) implies that many of our government agencies dealing with the environment and other scientific/humanitarian projects might benefit handsomely from having American poets on their staff' - to document and render their projects, people, histories and activities in ways they presently cannot do and that otherwise go unsaid. To celebrate the accomplishments or commiserate on the failures. To inspire, to caution and to imagine..
Imagine what American poets writing from within the vantage of agencies like NASA, or the EPA, or the National Parks Service, etc. might do to raise public consciousness to guide and inspire our future. IMAGINE what we might be hearing about NASA's next mission today if NASA poets had been there to sing the praises, honor the people, celebrate the discoveries and importance of the last three missions? NASA might be a very different kind of poem today. A flourishing and generous vision, nourishing many generations well into our future.
THE REWARDS AND BENEFITS OF A FLOURISHING AND
WELL-FUNDED NASA ARE INCALCULABLE
Stewart Band had to fight for three years to get NASA to release the photo of the whole earth, the one that set off the public consciousness about the planet and the environmental projects and consciousness we have today. It was only two years after that 'Earth Day' began and whole new industries were launched from the environmental consciousness born in that single event . Imagine what putting poets within NASA might do to inspire, celebrate and reveal the potentials of the human imagination for future generations?
MAKE IT SO
While the petition might seem trivial on first thought, its implications reach further than we can foresee. We hope you now agree that creating an 'Office of Poetry' and putting poets on staff at NASA is squarely on the road that President Kennedy mapped out for us when he said, "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Hiring staff poets at NASA is the next logical step on the road of "Why not?"
CREATE JOBS ~~~ LAUNCH THE IMAGINATION ~~~ SIGN THE PETITION
Still not convinced? go to
'Mission Accomplished' at http://poems4change.org/Poems/mission-accomplished.htm
for more insight on poetry and its importance to the future of NASA.
PLEASE SIGN/SHARE THIS PETITION
MAKE IT SO
- Director, History Office, NASA-Ames Research Center
The lack of 'staff poet' and an office of 'Poets-in-Residence' at NASA is a serious omission that impedes the progress of the agency. It needs to be corrected so that those with experience and training to inspire the public and document the people and projects of NASA in ways that otherwise go unsaid, become an important part of the educational and public interest mission of the agency.
NASA Education was contacted to inquire if there were any poets on staff. The reply referred us to go their 'occupations list'. We were not seeking a job, but noted that there was no occupational title for 'poet' included on the list. We were both surprised and profoundly disappointed to realize there are no poets at NASA. If you think of what a single poem has done to inspire and motivate generations of Americans (Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken', for example) you will realize the importance of including American poets on the staffs of our most visionary and nationally inspiring projects and agencies. For more information, you may go to www.holopoet.com/public/mission-accomplished.htm
We urge you to use the influence of your office to correct this deficiency and see that poets, at least at NASA, are included and effectively deployed throughout the agency and its various undertakings.
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