Black Holes and Parallel Universes: Science Fiction Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] Walt Whitman and the Learn’d Astronomer

poetry friday

Fats here.

Iphigene has outdone herself with this beautiful widget she created.
Iphigene has outdone herself with this beautiful widget she created.

I am joining Poetry Friday today with a poem by Walt Whitman.  As we celebrate science and astronomy for our current theme, Black Holes and Parallel Universes: Marvels of Science and Speculative Fiction, I thought it is only fitting to share Whitman’s When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer. This poem was featured in the hit TV series, Breaking Bad, in which Gale Boetticher recited the poem by memory to impress Walter White.

Thank you Amy of The Poem Farm for hosting the poetry round-up this week!

"Starry Night Over the Rhone" by Vincent Van Gogh.
“Starry Night Over the Rhone” by Vincent Van Gogh.

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

1 comment on “[Poetry Friday] Walt Whitman and the Learn’d Astronomer

  1. “the mystical moist night-air”

    Yes…thank you, Walt. And thank you, Fats. I might go look at those early morning stars right now.

    Happy week!

    Like

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