Coelorum Perrupit Claustra

uranus-winds-rings

We recently visited Bath and found a Museum dedicated to William Herschel, astronomer and discoverer of Uranus. The museum is in the very house where he discovered the planet. It was mind-blowing that one man in tiny garden behind a Georgian townhouse essentially doubled the size of the solar system. What was very interesting was the work that his sister, the first female astronomer paid by the state, did in her own right -as a comet chaser – and with her brother.

This poem took a long time because I got caught in a writing loop where I couldn’t see past the intimate notion of equating the scent of the garden with the discovery of the planet. Think about that for a second and understand why that wouldn’t work. Once I’d got past that and come up with the notion of Uranus discovering Herschel, things worked out a little better.

 

Coelorum Perrupit Claustra

 

The dervish sylphs notice that

His curiosity is piqued

by the smallest of specks

in the braille point sea.

He squints as he focusses,

fixing his aerial gaze

 

on a delicate tunnel

of rosewood and speculum.

An elegant man

in a small formal garden

of phlox and delphinium,

stares back at him, amazed.

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