A Commentary on Carl Sagan's "Cosmos"

1990 Feb 23

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"We're all made of starstuff," the astronomer exclaimed

and displayed the wide-eyed wonder for which he is famed.

He seems to be saying, "These people must be impressed

with scientific truths so eloquently expressed."

"Indeed," I agree, "indeed it is so.

But what of the stars' lives do these people know?"

Of hydrogen mostly the first stars were made,

of helium and lithium perhaps just a shade.

Into itself each galactic gas cloud did fall

and made of itself a self-luminous ball.

Under gravity's pressure and motion kinetic

the nuclei engaged in fusion frenetic.

Heavier and heavier the nuclei became,

their mass defect fueling their star's cosmic flame.

Thermonuclear digestion made the elements grow,

then its guts into space the dead star did blow.

From such used gases our world was created,

from digested starfood from which hydrogen was ablated.

So I conclude (and here I must blush a little bit)

that the truth of it is we're all made of starshit.


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