My God, It's Full Of Stars
The Universe In Verse series
A poet looks at her father, an engineer for the Hubble Telescope, and sees our human hunger to know the universe.

“My God, It’s Full Of Stars”, poem written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith, is transformed into stop motion animation with cosmic and human imagery handcrafted with paints, glass and optical distortions. 

It's the second episode in the animated series of The Universe In Verse, a celebration of the wonder of reality through stories of science told through poetry, a project by Maria Popova (The Marginalian) with On Being.
My God, It's Full Of Stars (Part 5)
by Tracy K. Smith

When my father worked on the Hubble Telescope, he said
They operated like surgeons: scrubbed and sheathed
In papery green, the room a clean cold, a bright white.

He’d read Larry Niven at home, and drink scotch on the rocks,
His eyes exhausted and pink. These were the Reagan years,
When we lived with our finger on The Button and struggled

To view our enemies as children. My father spent whole seasons
Bowing before the oracle-eye, hungry for what it would find.
His face lit up whenever anyone asked, and his arms would rise

As if he were weightless, perfectly at ease in the never-ending
Night of space. On the ground, we tied postcards to balloons
For peace. Prince Charles married Lady Di. Rock Hudson died.

We learned new words for things. The decade changed.

The first few pictures came back blurred, and I felt ashamed
For all the cheerful engineers, my father and his tribe. The second time,
The optics jibed. We saw to the edge of all there is —

So brutal and alive it seemed to comprehend us back.


Daniel Bruson

Poem and Reading
Tracy K. Smith

Daniel Bruson

Music and Sound Design
Gautam Srikishan

Creative Direction
Erin Colasacco

The Universe In Verse project by
Maria Popova (
On Being

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