Poetry December 2011

Night Sky

It’s good news for the stay-at-homes,
The new consensus among astronomers
That the night sky appears roughly the same
From any spot in the universe,
With roughly the same number of visible stars
At similar distances, in similar congregations.
Those who’ve labeled the view from Earth provincial
Turn out to be mired in provincial thinking.
No capital can be found on the star map, no center
Where all roads lead, no giant mass
Whose pull proves irresistible to the ambitious,
As if only there can their plans unfold.
The stars above any roof will be stars enough
Once the gauzy curtain is drawn back,
The veil of dust and ash that obscures their shining.
Let the Milky Way be visible once again
To the naked eye and compared to a stream
Or glassy roadbed or bank of flowers.
Nightfall then will be all that’s longed for.
The morning and afternoon of a cloudless day
Will seem to pass so slowly that the watchers
Will wonder if the stars they think they remember
Are only fancies. But no, look up.
Here they are again.

Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In