Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750—1848)
astronomer, sister of William; and others.A woman in the shape of a monstera monster in the shape of a womanthe skies are full of thema woman ‘in the snowamong the Clocks and instrumentsor measuring the ground with poles’in her 98 years to discover8 cometsshe whom the moon ruledlike uslevitating into the night skyriding the polished lensesGalaxies of women, theredoing penance for impetuousnessribs chilledin those spaces of the mindAn eye,‘virile, precise and absolutely certain’from the mad webs of Uranusborgencountering the NOVAevery impulse of light explodingfrom the coreas life flies out of usTycho whispering at last‘Let me not seem to have lived in vain’What we see, we seeand seeing is changingthe light that shrivels a mountainand leaves a man aliveHeartbeat of the pulsarheart sweating through my bodyThe radio impulsepouring in from TaurusI am bombarded yet I standI have been standing all my life in thedirect path of a battery of signalsthe most accurately transmitted mostuntranslatable language in the universeI am a galactic cloud so deep so invo-luted that a light wave could take 15years to travel through me And hastaken I am an instrument in the shapeof a woman trying to translate pulsationsinto images for the relief of the bodyand the reconstruction of the mind.
One of my favourite poems (about another favourite person) by one of my all time favourite poets who passed away last week. If you’re not familiar with her work then I strongly suggest you familiarise yourself quick smart, she was very special. RIP Adrienne.