New Poet, Brand New - Sarah Groesbeck

Elizabeth Bishop as a young student

One of the joys of teaching is students. Okay. Not all students but I do meet a few each quarter that make all the craziness of paper grading and lack of sleep worthwhile.

Sarah Groesback was one of those students. Sarah arrived in my English 200 Creative Writing class last fall because she was curious. And she needed a second level English course in order to graduate. She did not choose my course because of her love of poetry. In fact, she told me she had not written poetry before and was somewhat terrified by the prospect. Now Sarah is a published poet and "Galileo Demands an Apology" is featured on the Washington State Poet Laureate's The Far Field - a weekly blog roll of Washington State Poets. A year into the process and Poet Laureate, Kathleen Flenniken, is still discovering new poets around the state.

Perhaps I'm bias, but "Galileo Demands an Apology" is as finely crafted a poem as what we find in today's literary journals. I can only hope that in Sarah's pursuit of a career in mathematics that she makes the time to devote to her poetry as well. I'm looking forward to reading more of her strong work.

Galileo Demands An Apology

by Sarah Groesbeck

          “Eppur si muove: and yet it moves.”

          - Galileo Galilei

How fickle and stubborn
you are. Once praising my telescope and
the celestial bodies uncovered,
now branding me a heretic
for going against God and His scripture by saying
we are not the center.
I set out only to discover the truth;
to follow the evidence
with a mind open to wherever it may lead.
You, however, carelessly dismiss my results
by thumbing through verses.
And yet it moves.
I implore you, open your eyes and look

click here to read the rest of the poem


  1. I love The Far Field and never miss it. Your student's poem is wonderful; how delighted and excited she must be to see it at The Far Field. Would love to see how she might translate her study of mathematics into poetry.


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