A Glowing Poem by a Young Science Fan

Creative inspiration can be found anywhere—especially in science! Science is an amazing way to spark inspiration and curiosity and this poem by Gavin does just that. Our poet hails from the Greater Chicago Area and, at the age of only 11, has written a beautiful poem inspired by his awe of bioluminescence in nature. We loved Gavin’s poem so much that we wanted to ask him a little more about his process. 

Example of bioluminescence in an ocean wave A bioluminescent wave! Image: bjonesmedia/iStock/Thinkstock


Q: Where did you first learn about bioluminescence?

A: I first learned about bioluminescence in Grand Cayman through Cayman Kayaks.  My family and I went on a kayak tour there and got to see bioluminescent creatures in a bay.  When I placed my paddle in the water, the water I touched glowed.  I also saw fish swimming below us [that] glowed because of the bioluminescence.  It was super cool!


Q: What is it about bioluminescence that you find so poetic?

A: This experience was poetic because it was super amazing to see the bioluminescence in the water.  It was beautiful to see and something I’ll never forget.  I wanted to write a poem about this because it was inspiring to me, and I wanted to learn more after this experience.


Q: Do you like studying science in school?

A: I really enjoy learning about science, specifically animals, rocks, and minerals.  I read books about these subjects for school and even outside of school on my own.  Science is cool because it’s interesting to learn about the world around us.


Q: Do you have any ideas about science related poems you’d like to write in the future?

A: I have some ideas for poems about the ocean. I may write some about stingrays or eels.


Q: Do you like to write other kinds of poetry as well?

A: I enjoy writing acrostic poems as well. 


Q: What do you hope people might take away from your poem?

A: I hope people learn about how cool the bioluminescent kayaking experience is and maybe try it out on their own one day.


Q: Is there anything about bioluminescence you think is really cool but didn’t make it into the poem?

A: I was going to write about how people on the kayaking tour saw the bioluminescence in different ways. Some thought it was blue while others thought it was purple or yellow or green.  I tried to put this into my poem, but it didn't sound so good with the rest of the poem.


Q: If you were able to use bioluminescence in your day-to-day life, how would you use it?

A: I would love to use bioluminescence as a light in my room because I love the cool blue color of it.


Another example of bioluminescence in the ocean Image: watcherFF/iStock/Thinkstock

We love Gavin’s enthusiasm for the beauty of science and we hope that his poem will help inspire others as well! Without further ado, we present Gavin’s poem, “Bioluminescence”:



By Gavin, Age 11


Glowing in the night


Until motion in the water

Like the moon

Shining in the bay

Surrounding any movement

In the sea

Millions of dancing lights

Illuminating fish

Sparkling every second

Like a silent firework show.


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About the Author

Sarah Wells
Digital Media Intern

Sarah Wells is a rising senior at Clark University and hails from Montpelier, Vermont. She is majoring in English with a double minor in physics and computer science.