The Universe in Verse

15 Portals to Wonder through Science & Poetry


By Maria Popova

Illustrated by Ofra Amit

Formats and Prices




$29.00 CAD

The Universe in Verse is an ode to wonder and an exploration of the human search for truth and meaning. 

Poetry and science, as Popova writes in her introduction, "are instruments for knowing the world more intimately and loving it more deeply." In 15 short essays on subjects ranging from the mystery of dark matter and the infinity of pi to the resilience of trees and the intelligence of octopuses, Popova tells the stories of scientific searching and discovery. These stories are interwoven with details from the very real and human lives of scientists—many of them women, many underrecognized—and poets inspired by the same questions and the beauty they reveal. Each essay is paired with a poem reflecting its subject by poets ranging from Emily Dickinson, W. H. Auden, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to Maya Angelou, Diane Ackerman, and Tracy K. Smith, and is stunningly illustrated by celebrated artist Ofra Amit. Together, they wake us to a "reality aglow with wonder." 


  • “This book is a wonder. Science writing so often negates the inherent wonder of science, which comes so brilliantly alive here. Something bursts open in the mind. And let me say this: Maria Popova has the rare gift of starting a sentence and leaving you in trance by its end. I'd read anything she writes.”
    Jad Abumrad, creator, Radiolab

On Sale
Oct 1, 2024
Page Count
112 pages

Maria Popova

About the Author

Maria Popova thinks and writes about our search for meaning—sometimes through science and philosophy, sometimes through poetry and children's books, always through the lens of wonder. She is the creator of The Marginalian, born in 2006 under the outgrown name Brain Pickings and included in the Library of Congress permanent digital archive of culturally valuable materials, author of Figuring and The Snail with the Right Heart, and maker of The Universe in Verse—a charitable celebration of the wonder of reality through stories of science winged with poetry.

Learn more about this author