"The Green Hills Of Earth" is a short story by Robert A. Heinlein
first published in 1947.
This short story provides examples of:
- Bawdy Song: Rhysling's unpublished works are alluded to, occasionally by title, and described as being "unfit for publication in a family magazine".
- Common Meter
- Heroic RROD: The poet Rhysling makes critical repairs to a nuclear core, but sustains fatal radiation poisoning. He composes the eponymous song as he dies.
- Hobos: Old blind Rhysling, the Singer of the Spaceways, is a kind of hobo. He's an unusual example, as he's built up something of a reputation as a wandering poet and is well-regarded by pretty much everyone.
- Perilous Power Source: Rhysling loses his sight this way - he peers past the baffles of a rocket's reactor and is then blinded by Cherenkov radiation. Ouch.
- Walking the Earth: Rhysling. Until the accident that blinded him, he had been a spaceship engineer; after the accident, he took advantage of the informal custom that a spacer could have one free trip home, using it to wander at will all over the solar system.