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The View from Space

My helmet gone, I float among the stars
As weightless as my lungs deprived of air
Asphyxiating slowly, I am far
From all I love and anyone who cares.

The stars are dead already: cold and hot,
Like burning funeral torches in the sky
Their lifeless eyes of fury hurt me not,
I am forsaken, destined here to die.

The world ends not by fire or by ice
It does not end at all, but slowly spins
As I, among stars’ fire, turn to ice
And pray that God absolves me of my sins.

My body swallowed in the black abyss
I close my eyes and welcome death’s cold kiss.

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Ellie Strano is a 9th grade student homeschooled in Lexington, MA.


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12 Responses

  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    You have a true sense of poetic musicality and imagery! “burning funeral torches in the sky” is marvelous! Congratulations to both you and your homeschool teachers. I hope you keep writing, and they keep teaching.

    Reply
  2. Paul Freeman

    As lyrically expressive and emotional as ‘Space Oddity’.

    Well done, Ellie.

    Reply
  3. Margaret Coats

    Beautifully written, Ellie. You take the point of view of someone denied natural human life (as line 4 shows), and substitutes an obsessive focus on the unfeeling material universe. After the sonnet’s turn, the speaker reveals hope in a distant God, suggesting that her final couplet represents brave acceptance instead of despair. Nonetheless, the splendid outer space imagery maintains a grim tone. Well done!

    Reply
  4. Sally Cook

    Dear Ellie —
    You are not one to easily give up your individuality. If there are are stands to be taken, beliefs to be held, questions to be asked, prizes to be won, you will be strong, reasonable and considered.
    Having read your poem, I feel less hopeless about our country and the direction in which it is being dragged. What good teachers you must have!

    Reply
  5. C.B. Anderson

    My children were homeschooled, Ellie, and so I understand the value of that. If you want some advice from an old man who is not your parent, then here it is: Tighten up your rhymes, and mind your punctuation — in the third stanza, for example, you need to end the first line with a period or at least a semicolon, and in the final couplet you need a comma after “abyss.”

    Reply
  6. James Sale

    Truly, a very remarkable performance indeed; it would have been impressive for an adult to have written – you seem to have great potential, so keep writing! So if you want some advice from another old man – which you probably don’t (I mean, who does really want advice from some old man somewhere?) – then here’s my best shot for you: avoid pedantry and pedants. Remember, too, nobody recalls poems for their semi-colons or even their perfect rhymes. What they remember are those poems where the Muse speaks and the literary critical faculty is suspended in wonder. As you get older you might want to fuss a bit about semi-colons and how far you can ‘stretch’ rhyme. But don’t let it bother you now. For more on the Muse in poetry, I have written 4 articles available on this site! And if that is not enough to get you fired up, take a look at the summary of a talk I did for the SCP at The Princeton Club in Manhattan in 2019, published in The Epoch Times: https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-making-of-a-poem-courage-strength-and-kung-fu_3145658.html Greetings to all the parent teachers in Lexington!!!

    Reply
  7. Adam Wasem

    You’ve definitely got the gift, Ellie. Some advice, if you’re interested: Keep at it and remember not to get hung up on whether the piece will be “liked” to the point you skip those last couple editing and proofreading passes. Oftentimes those make the difference between rejection and publication.

    Reply
  8. Tamara Beryl Latham

    Ellie, what a pleasure to read such an impressive poem, where you have
    presented us with a view from space that culminates with God’s final
    judgement of you.

    I particularly liked your use of the stars as funeral torches which makes the imagery so much more vivid.

    An impressive sonnet and one that I greatly enjoyed. Keep up the good work. 🙂

    Reply

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