Archives for posts with tag: stars

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STARS
by Robert Frost 

How countlessly they congregate

O’er our tumultuous snow,

Which flows in shapes as tall as trees

When wintry winds do blow!–


 
As if with keenness for our fate,

Our faltering few steps on

To white rest, and a place of rest

Invisible at dawn,–


 
And yet with neither love nor hate,

Those stars like some snow-white

Minerva’s snow-white marble eyes

Without the gift of sight.

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CANIS MAJOR
by Robert Frost

The great Overdog
That heavenly beast

With a star in one eye

Gives a leap in the east.

He dances upright

All the way to the west

And never once drops

On his forefeet to rest.

I’m a poor underdog,

But to-night I will bark

With the great Overdog

That romps through the dark.

NOTE: Canis Major is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was included in the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy‘s 48 constellations. Its name is Latin for “greater dog,” and is the constellation is commonly represented as one of the dogs following Orion the hunter. Canis Major contains Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, known as the “dog star” — bright because of its proximity to our solar system. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

IMAGE: Antique drawing of Canis Major. Prints available at etsy.com.

leonids
LEONIDS OVER US
by Marge Piercy

The sky is streaked with them

burning holes in black space –

like fireworks, someone says

all friendly in the dark chill

of Newcomb Hollow in November,

friends known only by voices.


 
We lie on the cold sand and it

embraces us, this beach

where locals never go in summer

and boast of their absence. Now

we lie eyes open to the flowers

of white ice that blaze over us


 
and seem to imprint directly

on our brains. I feel the earth,

rolling beneath as we face out

into the endlessness we usually

ignore. Past the evanescent

meteors, infinity pulls hard.

NOTE: The Leonids is a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids get their name from the location of their radiant in the constellation Leo: the meteors appear to radiate from that point in the sky. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

Photo: Leonids meteor shower, 2009

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Poet, novelist, and essayist Marge Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1936. She won a scholarship to the University of Michigan and later earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University. She has published fifteen books of poetry, including Colors Passing Through Us (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003), The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme (1999), Early Grrrl: The Early Poems of Marge Piercy (1999), What Are Big Girls Made Of? (1997), Mars and Her Children (1992), Available Light (1988), Circles on the Water: Selected Poems of Marge Piercy (1982), and The Moon Is Always Female (1980). She is also the author of a collection of essays on poetry, Parti-Colored Blocks for a Quilt (1982). The most recent of Piercy’s fifteen novels are Three Women (1999), Storm Tide (with Ira Wood, 1998), City of Darkness, City of Light (1996), The Longings of Women (1994), and He, She and It (1991). Piercy lives with her husband, writer Ira Wood, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Visit her online at margepiercy.com. (Source: poets.org)

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AUTUMN
by T.E. Hulme 

A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Ernest Hulme (1883 1917) was an English critic and poet who, through his writings on art, literature and politics, had a notable influence upon modernism. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

PHOTO: “Red Moon Rising” by Flavio (July 7, 2009), ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Photographer’s note:  The orange-red colors that the moon sometimes take on are caused by particles in the Earth’s atmosphere. So, this is an interesting and nice-looking result of pollution. When the sunlight reflected by the moon passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, it is scattered by atmospheric particles. Blue light is scattered more than red light, which passes straight through. Incidentally, this is why the sky is blue.
When the moon is close to the horizon, the light must travel through a maximum amount of atmosphere to get to your eyes — blue light gets scattered, while red light goes straight, making the object look redder. In other words, the moon sometimes (and the sun every day) tends to look orange or red when it is rising or setting.

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ON THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUL
by Pattiann Rogers

How confident I am it is there. Don’t I bring it,   
As if it were enclosed in a fine leather case,   
To particular places solely for its own sake?   
Haven’t I set it down before the variegated canyon   
And the undeviating bald salt dome?   
Don’t I feed it on ivory calcium and ruffled   
Shell bellies, shore boulders, on the sight   
Of the petrel motionless over the sea, its splayed   
Feet hanging? Don’t I make sure it apprehends   
The invisibly fine spray more than once?
 
I have seen that it takes in every detail
I can manage concerning the garden wall and its borders.
I have listed for it the comings and goings
Of one hundred species of insects explicitly described.
I have named the chartreuse stripe
And the fimbriated antenna, the bulbed thorax   
And the multiple eye. I have sketched
The brilliant wings of the trumpet vine and invented
New vocabularies describing the interchanges between rocks   
And their crevices, between the holly lip   
And its concept of itself.
 
And if not for its sake, why would I go
Out into the night alone and stare deliberately   
Straight up into 15 billion years ago and more?
 
I have cherished it. I have named it.   
By my own solicitations   
I have proof of its presence. 
***
“On the Existence of the Soul” appears in Pattiann Rogers‘ collection Firekeeper: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Pattiann Rogers (Milkweed Editions, 1994).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Pattiann Rogers was born in 1941 in Joplin, Missouri. She attended the University of Missouri, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and went to the University of Houston where she earned an MA in creative writing. Her awards and honors also include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Poetry Fellowship, Poetry’s Tietjens and Bess Hokin Prizes, the Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest, the Strousse Award from Prairie Schooner, and four Pushcart Prizes. Rogers has taught at numerous colleges and universities as well as in high schools and kindergartens.

PAINTING: “The Starry Night” (1889) by Vincent van Gogh

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“…mint, mint, everything smelling of mint, and one fine old tree that I loved to sit under on those cool perfect starry California October nights unmatched anywhere in the world.” JACK KEROUAC, The Dharma Bums

Photo: “Lake Almanor, Northern California” by Bernie DeChant, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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AFTER YEARS
by Ted Kooser

Today, from a distance, I saw you

walking away, and without a sound

the glittering face of a glacier

slid into the sea. An ancient oak

fell in the Cumberlands, holding only

a handful of leaves, and an old woman

scattering corn to her chickens looked up

for an instant. At the other side

of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times

the size of our own sun exploded

and vanished, leaving a small green spot

on the astronomer’s retina

as he stood on the great open dome

of my heart with no one to tell.

“After Years” originally appeared in Solo: A Journal of Poetry, Spring 1996

Photo: “Exploding Star 1” by Carsten Huels, EHS Journal, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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SUMMER STARS
by Carl Sandburg

Bend low again, night of summer stars.
So near you are, sky of summer stars,
So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars, 

Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl, 

So near you are, summer stars, 

So near, strumming, strumming, 

So lazy and hum-strumming.

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The United Kingdom celebrated its National Poetry Day on Thursday, October 4, 2012. This years’s theme — STARS! Congratulations to Joan Jobe Smith who was a featured poet in the event with her poem “Dancing in a River of Stars.” Yesterday, the poem was published in a leading British newspaper. Find the link here — or read the poem below.

DANCING IN A RIVER OF STARS

Poem by Joan Jobe Smith

They sang in those days, no
stereo CDs MTV everywhere
boom box ear-plugged joggers
fast fingered bloggers blast-zinging
twitter all over the place
they’d sing
my mother sang while cooking
supper, doing dishes Amapola
my pretty little poppy moonlight
becomes you it goes with your
stardust hair
my father driving his car
over the Golden Gate Bridge sang
San Francisco open your golden gate
that old black magic that you weave so
well under my skin California here
we come and sometimes they’d sing
duet cheek to cheek deep in the
heart of me as they waltzed across
the living room, danced the fox trot
barefoot, the rug rolled back, lights
down low, Artie Shaw shadow clarinet
crooning behind their backs dancing

dancing in the dark
near an endless river of stars.

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“…mint, mint, everything smelling of mint, and one fine old tree that I loved to sit under on those cool perfect starry California October nights unmatched anywhere in the world.”

From The Dharma Bums by JACK KEROUAC

Photo: “Lake Almanor, Northern California” by Bernie DeChant, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED