Our ordinary Measures / Of Distance – fail us –

Last spring, I studied Emily Dickinson in-depth at Columbia College Chicago (thanks to Dr. Karen Osbourne for that wonderful experience). I focused mainly on Dickinson’s interest in science.

In this context, I watched Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos,” and found amazing similarities between Sagan’s and Dickinson’s appreciation of the scientific beauty in nature.  I began to take down quotes that struck me as particularly Dickinson-esque, and transcribed them in her style.

Today is Carl Sagan day, so I’ve arranged a few of his words in a way that echoes Dickinson.

Our ordinary measures of Distance – fail us.

The cosmos is full – beyond measure –
Of elegant Truths –
And exquisite interrelationships.

Music of cosmic Harmonies –
Perfect – as a snowflake –
Organic – as a dandelion seed –
It will carry us to worlds of Dreams
And worlds of Facts.

The Surface of the Earth
Is the Shore of the cosmic Ocean –
Ankle-deep – and the Water seems inviting.

This is where we came from –
and we long to return.
We’re Made – of Star-stuff.
We are a way for the Cosmos
To know itself.

We float – like a Mote of Dust –
In the morning Sky.
Our ordinary Measures
Of Distance – fail us –
Here in the Realm of the Galaxy.

Galaxies are born, they live – and die –
A tumultuous Adolescence –
Their cores may explode,
Seen in radiographs.
Great jets of energy – Echo
Across the cosmos.

In the Pegasus cluster – there’s a Ring –
A splash – in the cosmic Pond.

A swarm of Bees – bound by gravity –
Every bee – a sun,
its Spiral arms – slowly turning.

Worlds of ice – and stars of Diamond,
Atoms – as massive as Suns –
Universes – Smaller than Atoms –


About abi nighthill

Abi has a BA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago.
This entry was posted in Awesome, Dickinson, Poetry and Nonfiction, Science and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Our ordinary Measures / Of Distance – fail us –

  1. Pingback: Digital Sextant : Our ordinary Measures / Of Distance — fail us

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