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The Naming of Comets

28 Oct 2013, 14:29 UTC
The Naming of Comets
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Prologue:

The poem below is an adaptation of T. S. Eliot's poem "The Naming of Cats" from "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." This book served as the basis for the musical "Cats." Unless you are an Eliot or broadway afficianado, the verse below will make immeasurably more sense if you read the original first. That work is under copyright, and can not be printed here, but can be found elsewhere on the internet. Notably, the Amazon.com "Look Inside" feature includes the entire poem as the first work in this version of the book (at the time of writing). Also, the performance of the poem in the film version of "Cats" is available as a YouTube video.

The Naming of Comets
by F. J. Summers

The naming of comets is a scientific matter,
It isn't just one of your late night games;
You may think at first I'm from a mad alma mater
When I tell you, a comet must have three different names.

First of all, there's the name that the public uses daily,
Such as Lovejoy, Kohoutek, West or McNaught,
The first name was Halley, or in America "hailey,"
The name of the discoverer, ...

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