Saturday, July 25, 2020

Elizabeth Gilbert: in The Universe in Verse

Today, I was going through a few poetry recitals of the 2020 Universe in Verse. One of the recitals that I listened to was by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of several books including Eat, Pray, Love (that was also made into a popular film later starring Julia Roberts), and she read Ursa Major by James Kirkup. I really enjoyed her recital of this poem. 

We all wonder at the cosmic miracles, and the endless awe it brings us. Not long ago I felt myself reminiscing on these wondrous diamonds in the sky. Fresh from such nostalgic memories, listening to Ursa Major as Kirkup explores it's beauty and significance through his bewitching poem, I wanted to share this lovely discovery with you all. Here's the poem for your reading:
Slung between the homely poplars at the end
of the familiar avenue, the Great
Bear in its lighted hammock swings,
like a neglected gate that neither bars admission nor invites,
hangs on the sagging pole its seven-pointed shape.

Drawn with the precision of an unknown problem
solved n the topmost classroom of the empty sky,
it demonstrates upon the inky blackboard of the night’s
immeasurable finity the focal point of light.
For though the pointers seem to indicate the pole,
each star looks through us into outer space
from where the sun that burns behind and past us
animates immediately each barren, crystal face
with ravaged brilliance, that our eyes
must lean out into time to catch, and die in seeing.
Since an embed was available for the same on Brainpickings, you can listen to Elizabeth Gilbert's lovely reading here:

If you want to read more about this, do check out the post on this on Brainpickings. It's a beautiful blog, and one that will stay my favourite, do subscribe to it if you are interested across topics like science, art, literature, poetry, philosophy, and would like to discover treasures- both contemporary and old ones. Happy reading!

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