Hi friends! Happy Monday—and happy solar eclipse! I hope you’re able to enjoy it (and safely). I wanted to specifically share two poems that are about the experience of the solar eclipse, but from markedly different perspectives.
A SOLAR ECLIPSE
In that great journey of the stars through space
About the mighty, all-directing Sun,
The pallid, faithful Moon, has been the one
Companion of the Earth. Her tender face,
Pale with the swift, keen purpose of that race,
Which at Time’s natal hour was first begun,
Shines ever on her lover as they run
And lights his orbit with her silvery smile.
Sometimes such passionate love doth in her rise,
Down from her beaten path she softly slips,
And with her mantle veils the Sun’s bold eyes,
Then in the gloaming finds her lover’s lips.
While far and near the men our world call wise
See only that the Sun is in eclipse.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox
SEEING THE ECLIPSE IN MAINE
It started about noon. On top of Mount Batte,
We were all exclaiming. Someone had a cardboard
And a pin, and we all cried out when the sun
Appeared in tiny form on the notebook cover.
It was hard to believe. The high school teacher
We’d met called it a pinhole camera,
People in the Renaissance loved to do that.
And when the moon had passed partly through
We saw on a rock underneath a fir tree,
Dozens of crescents—made the same way—
Thousands! Even our straw hats produced
A few as we moved them over the bare granite.
We shared chocolate, and one man from Maine
Told a joke. Suns were everywhere—at our feet.
How about you? Do you have a favorite eclipse poem (or astronomical event poem) that comes to mind? Whether or not, you should write one about your experience today—after all, it IS a very rare event.
Have a wonderful day, all!
Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s “A Solar Eclipse” previously appeared in Academy of American Poets
Robert Bly’s “Seeing the Eclipse in Main” previously appeared in Poetry Foundation