The net of stars that holds the night in place,
with Cassiopeia and Berenice’s Hair
as fixed as a cage across the dome of space,
with Cygnus, the Lion and the Little Bear
and Taurus tame, with Orion lying there—
as long as the ground you’re standing on is flat,
they’re all too motionless to wonder at;

but stand on a hill, at an angle to the sky,
and it’s not so much that you look them in the eye;
it’s this: Orion, the Bear, the Gemini
go wheeling around an evening gone askew—
the whole horizon pitched and out of true,
the night undone and still in the making, new
and enough off balance to be dazzled by.




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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 22 Number 10, on page 31
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