Monday, June 1, 2009

Monkeys in space

Thank you to those of you who sent me the link to the NPR story about the 50th anniversary of the monkeys in space program (Jamie, Meghan -- that would be you).

Is it any coincidence that this anniversary should roll around right as I was reading The Time It Takes to Fall, Margaret Lazarus Dean's fantastic novel that deals, in part, with the 1986 Challenger explosion?

Proving that monkeys and poetry are never far removed from each other, The Time It Takes to Fall opens with two epigraphs. The first is from poet Jennifer Metsker:
"What does it say that an egg recites poems that are utter nonsense
in the face of trying things? Of course, we know he was cracked

by his own faith in balance. When the horses and men returned home
from their assembly job, they were too numb for words, they had no stories

to tell their children, they spent the evening in silence."
The second is from Ronald Bedtime for Bonzo Reagan, announcing the Teacher in Space Program: "When the shuttle lifts off, all of America will be reminded of the crucial role that teachers and education play in the life of our nation. I can't think of a better lesson for our children and our country."

Added bonus: Other famous chimps via Mentalfloss.

Added added bonus: Margaret Lazarus Dean's Book Notes Playlist on Large Hearted Boy.

No comments: