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Eternity (constellations) April 16, 2009

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, poetry, writing.
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The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program chose Seeing in the dark : how amateur astronomers are discovering the wonders of the universe by Timothy Ferris for this year’s book as a tie in for the IYA. So I read it. And I got a bit of a surprise near the end, when I came across the line “…contemplation of one’s death is perhaps the mainspring of astronomy and other human strivings.” He goes on from there to talk about the timelessness of astronomy, about the things that take so long, they give us a sense of immortality. Here is a poem I wrote several years ago.

Eternity (the constellations)

They are constant, familiar,
Their names and stories are passed down through generations
They tie me to my ancestors
Their shapes are eternal on human timescales
Immortal, and unchanged when I have turned to dust
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