Adrift Among the Stars - Book Review


Adrift Among the Stars

Author: John Dickey
Genre: Poetry/Music
Date Published: August 1, 2017
ISBN-10: 1939749069
ISBN-13: 9781939749062


Book Review of :  Adrift Among the Stars


”Adrift Among The Stars” by John Dickey is a volume of beautiful pieces of poetry that defines our creation, existence, and future among the stars. It is a sweeping exploration of the universe we live in. It is scientifically accurate and provides a beautiful way to learn how we came about.  How did our little solar system provide us a place to thrive and grow? How did our continents develop from the fabled land mass, Pangaea?

“Life would evolve in the next billion years
From the sea to the sky to the planets nearby
With characteristics of meiotic sex
Uniqueness, erotism, gender, and love.”

Adrift Among The Stars is a major work on the solar system - illustrated with drawings and photographs of the galaxy. It is a scintillating cartography of the major planets and asteroids in easily assimilated verse forms. While some poets’ poetry is intentionally difficult to read and comprehend, John Dickey’s poetry reads effortlessly. However, his work has been invested with protracted attention to detail making it spectacularly good poetry, clear, lyrical and soaring.

A short example piece from his book is Titan

A feeble dawn illumines Titan,
deep beneath dense orange smog
produced by ultraviolet rays
on nitrogen and methane gas.
Dim sunshine enters canyons carved
by gulley washer methane rain
and creeps across low outwash plains
of dunes and intermittent lakes.
This dreary world of ice and rock
and hydrocarbon lies beneath
a grimy film of aerosols
precipitated from the haze.
A moon with neither charm nor grace,
patinas tarnish Titan’s face.

Dickey’s poetry closes the distance, of the unknowable vastness that stretches between us on Earth and the surface of our sister planets and other celestial objects. It is in this expanse, that his poetry seems to have found a way to talk about other distances—more of the metaphorical and emotional nature— through the use of planets.

He is a poet who incorporates the minutiae of facts and history into his work. The 328-page book is illustrated with stunning pictures of the planets and other heavenly bodies.  His work is a convenient introduction to modern ideas on the planets, our very existence and our destiny as the inhabitants of planet earth.  In Canto 42 through 49 Dickey addresses these issues and our eventual demise. “A faint abiding lantern in the sky reveals where once the Sun warmed Life on Earth though hardly any trace of life remains.”

 Adrift Among The Stars by John Dickey is a stunning book of poetry and study of who we are, where we came from and what lies ahead of us. It is an easily readable book of poetry and its subject is captivating. A lot of work went into this book, making it a treat to read and a great influencer to readers to see their universe and world anew.

About John Dickey

John Dickey has been a geologist, research scientist, university professor/dean, NSF program director and Director of Outreach and Research Support at the American Geophysical Union. In addition to numerous technical publications and speeches he has published a book about earth and planetary science for the public (On The Rocks, John Wiley, 1996) and three editions of a book of lyric poetry (Quebradillas, AuthorHouse 2011).


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