The poem was written before the first exoplanets had been discovered, especially the rocky ones that may be more similar to earth, and which may contain life. Science is now close to analysing the atmospheres of these exoplanets for traces of carbon-based life. And astrophysicists now believe there could be primitive life on some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and on Mars – and even Venus.
Of course, alien contact – at least physical contact – remains in the realms of science fiction, and the thought of meeting humanoid aliens is more Star Trek than any future reality. But perhaps DNA itself is universal, or at the very least common in our solar system. A radio message or some future long-distance contact by means we haven’t even dreamt of yet could perhaps confirm that life elsewhere in the universe is based on DNA principles. If so, the theory of panspermia would be given a massive boost.
The poem is written in short descending lines to echo the double spiral of DNA.