Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Astronomer (Vermeer)


We know no more than he knew then.
We see farther and imagine numbers
Larger, but the same old infinities
Confront us, we still count to ten,
See through mirrors dying fire's penumbra,
Envision alien cities,
And watch for asteroids to come too near.
Like him, we are empty of fear,
Assume the universe is like a globe,
To be dissected and mapped, lobe by lobe.
He touches the heavens and says a prayer,
Not for insight, guidance, or grace
(Though he longs to pierce the layers
Of darkness), but to transcend space.

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