Things were different. Innocent. An eternal summer.
The trees are full of apples now.
Parents bring their children to pick them.
Cider and doughnuts, harvest, a warming fire.
No fear of another fall. No sins.
Unexplored, uncharted, as all rivers once were,
we travel down it carried by currents
that seem to run faster in darkness.
The overgrowth is thick. No visible horizon.
Uncertainty keeps us afloat for another day.
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey is a book about an actual river in Brazil, now known as the Roosevelt River.
Everything moving: Earth, solar system, nebulae, moons,
all the children of the cosmic expansion.
Foucault showed, simply, that one single point
could be still. I could be still.
Neither darkness nor light; error nor truth.
This poem takes inspiration (and some words) from Umberto Eco‘s wonderful novel Foucault’s Pendulum and the actual pendulum built by physicist Léon Foucault. His simple device was conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. While it had long been known that the Earth rotates, the introduction of the Foucault pendulum in 1851 was the first simple proof of the rotation in an easy-to-see experiment. Today, Foucault pendulums are popular displays in science museums and universities.
Eco says that the still point can be:
“a pivot, bolt, or hook around which the universe could move. And I was now taking part in that supreme experience. I, too, moved with the all, but I could see the One, the Rock, the Guarantee, the luminous mist that is not body, that has no shape, weight, quantity, or quality, that does not see or hear, that cannot be sensed, that is in no place, in no time, and is not soul, intelligence, imagination, opinion, number, order, or measure.”
This day in 1672, Anne Bradstreet died.
America’s first published poet, married at 16,
off to the New World to write
about her husband, children, God – this woman
eventually discontent with her Puritan woman’s life.
Her first and only volume of poetry was The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, published in England in 1650. Her poems received a positive reception in both the Old World and the New World.
“Memorial marker for Anne Dudley Bradstreet in the Old North Parish Burial Ground,
North Andover, Massachusetts” by Sarnold17 -
Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.