A counter to a Walt Whitman poem

When I first heard the learn’d astronomer
explain his proofs and figures, and arrange
the particles of this vast universe,
I was excited; I was not estranged.
I truly loved his charts and diagrams.
They made the cosmos understandable,
as if I’d found new diamond diadems;
its violence explained, deep-endable.
Then felt I like Balboa. His design
then made the chaos, of this crazed place I’m
located in, seem ordered and divine,
here in this cool and mystical space-time.
In perfect silence I looked at the stars
in rivers of eternity’s crossed bars.


Featured Image: “The Astronomer” by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)

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One Response

  1. Sir Bac de Leeuw

    The Astronomer by Johannes Vermeer

    He sits beside the globe he’s turning with his hand.
    One wonders, ‘Is it Antonie van Leeuwenhoek?’
    It seems as if the world is at his command.
    He holds his draped desk, spinning his celestial globe,
    and contemplates it in the corner of the room
    lit up beside a window, there above a book,
    which seems to be by Metius, and opened to
    a section saying inspiration comes from God.
    Upon the wall there is a picture, if you zoom
    in, finding Moses in the reeds. All is subdued,
    the colours, lighting, mood, the furniture and man,
    a moment taken from eternity—planned awe.


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