Responsibility to Awe

One of my favourite poets is Rebecca Elson, an astrophysicist and poet, who died too young. The name of this blog is an homage to this poem of hers.

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We Astronomers

by Rebecca Elson

We astronomers are nomads,
Merchants, circus people,
All the earth our tent.

We are industrious.
We breed enthusiasms,
Honour our responsibility to awe.

But the universe has moved a long way off.
Sometimes, I confess,
Starlight seems too sharp,

And like the moon
I bend my face to the ground,
To the small patch where each foot falls,

Before it falls,
And I forget to ask questions,
And only count things.

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