“If Only We Had Taller Been”

We lost the great Ray Bradbury on this day in 2012. To celebrate this amazing writer, here is his poetic ode to exploration.

Every time I watch this, I almost cry. 

In November 1971, Ray Bradbury joined Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan and others at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena to commemorate the Mariner 9 mission to Mars. Here he reads his poem "If Only We Had Taller Been", an ode to exploration, and a fitting tribute to his legacy as a writer and dreamer. In full above (with a captivated Sagan included) and excerpted below:

O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall

Across the Void, across the Universe and all?

And, measure out with rocket fire,

At last put Adam’s finger forth

As on the Sistine Ceiling,

And God’s great hand come down the other way

To measure Man and find him Good,

And Gift him with Forever’s Day?

I work for that.

Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth

between my ears,

Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.

Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal Mall:

We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!

We’re tall, O God, we’re tall!

Quest, a short movie made in 1983 by Elaine and Saul Bass based on Ray Bradbury’s 1946 story “Frost and Fire”.

(Source: youtube.com)

A discussion with Ray Bradbury concerning the novel Fahrenheit 451.

I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.

Ray Bradbury