Liz Garton Scanlon (liz_scanlon) wrote,
Liz Garton Scanlon

Poetry Friday -- J.Patrick Lewis

We have a neighbor who keeps his eye on the International Space Station.

Whenever it's going to be visable from our neck of the woods, he gathers us all in the street and we watch as it hurtles through space at 17,000 miles an hour.

I would've really loved to be an astronaut.
Y'know, if I wasn't what I am.

I suspect I'd have needed to possess more scientific leanings rather than poetic, though, if I were to train without gravity and fly a space shuttle and do space walks to repair electronic heat shields, etc. etc.

But there is a beautiful intersection of science and poetry.
At every level -- from the cellular to the celestial.
And I feel it when I stand in the middle of my street, head craned up in wonder.

In keeping with this thought, a gift poem from the very clever and incredibly prolific J. Patrick Lewis.
Thank you, Mr. Lewis, for sharing this with Poetry Friday fans!

The Aged Sun
                   -- J. Patrick Lewis

Whether our star, the sun, grows old
By turning into liquid gold
And dripping down invisible space
To some celestial fireplace,
Expands, as science says it must,
And turns its planets into dust,
Or simply ups and disappears
Like some ascending-ending spheres,
I do not think it matters much.
Great things destroy, depart, lose touch
When slow time reckons they are done— 
And so it will be with the sun, 
And so it will be with the sun.

(This poem previously published in POEMS FOR TEACHING IN THE CONTENT AREAS, Scholastic Teaching Resources, 2007. All rights J. Patrick Lewis)
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