I’m going to be on a panel this Friday with two other folks from LAS. I have to talk about astronomy and poetry as this panel is spin off of our bigger project here at school, The Year of Galileo. I’ve been playing around with topics for the last few weeks, but yesterday I finally had a breakthrough, which is good because I have to talk for about 15 minutes or so. I’m going to lead off talking a little about Galileo as a poet (he wrote a few poems in an obscure Italian form and also a few sonnets) and use a riddle that he starts with at the beginning of his poem “Enigma.” The riddle is about a comet, so I figure it segues nicely into Stanley Kunitz’s poem “Halley’s Comet” and then we’ll move in “Bright Star by” John Keats. I have a small Whitman poem if we have time, but I also have “I Remember Galileo” by Gerald Stern, so I think I’m covered in terms of material.
I’m going to put a brief power point presentation together and ask for audience participation. Here’s hoping it goes off well, or that I can at least take up my 15 minutes.
I sent a few more submissions out this week, but my eight week class is coming to a close, so the next week is going to be a bit chaotic. Thankfully, once that class is over, my schedule improves significantly.
We’re conducting the inspection on the house we’re looking to purchase today, so here’s hoping that goes smoothly. This whole process has been a bit of a roller coaster, and I will continue to keep quiet about it (blogwise) until we close on October 30th.
The music of the autumn wind sings low,
Down by the ruins of the painted hills,
Where death lies flaming with a marvellous glow,
Upon the ash of rose and daffodils.
But I can find no melancholoy here
To see the naked rocks and thinning trees;
Earth strips to grapple with the winter year—
I see her gnarled hills plan for victories!
I love the earth who goes to battle now,
To struggle with the wintry whipping storm
ANd brings the glorious spring out from the night,
I see earth’s muscles bared, her battle brow,
And am not sad, but feel her marvelous charm
As splendidly she plunges in the fight.
I never knew the road
From which the whole earth didn’t call away,
With wild birds rounding the hill crowns,
Haling out of the heart and old dismay,
Or the shore somewhere pounding its slow code,
Or low-lighted towns
Seeming to tell me, stay.
Lands I have never seen
And shall not see, loves I will not forget,
All I have missed, or slighted, or foregone
Call to me now. And weaken me. And yet
I would not walk a road without a scene.
I listen going on,
The richer for regret.