Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Poem: Summer Stars, by Carl Sandburg

Summer Stars

Bend low again, night of summer stars.
So near you are, sky of summer stars,
So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars,
Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl,
So near you are, summer stars,
So near, strumming, strumming,
So lazy and hum-strumming.

-Carl Sandburg, 1878 - 1967

The other weekend a trip to the Mt John observatory near Lake Tekapo reminded me of this poem. White it is autumn, rather than summer, it was stunning to see, on a clear night, how the sky looks away from the city.

In New Zealand - unlike in some parts of the world - we can still see stars in the cities, but with far from the intensity visible away from the pollution of city lights. When American poet Carl Sandburg wrote this poem in 1920, light pollution must have been far less of a problem than it is now, and the summer stars would indeed have appeared so near they could be picked from the "sky bowl".

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site, where this week's poem is by Irish poet Sean Lysaght. Many other Tuesday poems can be visited by clicking the links in the sidebar there.

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