Monday, March 05, 2007

Lunar eclipse poetry

After I published pictures yesterday of the weekend's lunar eclipse, Lyn Moir sent me two pictures she'd taken in St Andrews, Fife.

She also sent me a copy of this poem. It is a slight reworking of an earlier poem about the 2001 eclipse which was first published in Poetry Scotland.


No wild coronas blazing in the dark,
no rings of fire, no diamonds in the sky,
your shadowing more subtle than the blind
black masking of your lover's face, no stark
annihilation of the light, you mark
this darkness with passivity, resigned
to loss of his reflection, dignify
your enforced mourning with consummate art

and summon up the spectrum, put on shades
of crimson, scarlet, purple, blue, a screen
to cloak your temporary widowhood;
you flaunt voluptuous contours as light fades,
gaining solidity, and with it seem
to change, to be the entity you should.

Lyn Moir

I wrote a haiku sequence at the time of the 2001 eclipse. It was translated into Romanian by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe and published by SARM (Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)

ECLIPSE SEQUENCE by Gerald England
SECVENTELE ECLIPSEI in romaneste de Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
January 9th 2001

bright full moon
shines through thin cloud
- a plane flies over

luminoasa luna plina
straluce prin nor subtire-
un avion zboara deasupra-i

the shadow bites -
level with big planets
Capella shines

umbra musca
nivel cu mari planete
Capella straluceste

four-fifths gone
more stars appear
Venus fades

patru-cinci duse
mai multe stele apar
Venus se ofileste

from her sick-bed
my wife watches the action
on television

din patu-i de boala
sotia mea priveste actiunea
la televizor

frosty night -
deep red disc
in Gemini

noapte inghetata
disc rosu adanc
in Gemenii

light rays spread
to Pollux and Castor
- crescent emerges

raze de lumina se raspandesc
spre Castor si Pollux-
crescente rasarind

half moon
Procyon and Sirius
twinkle low

luna jumatate
Procyon si Sirius
licaresc incet

small shadow left
the biting wind
sends me indoors

mica umbra scade
vantul muscator
ma trimite inauntru

the whole moon
south in winter sky
- curtains close
luna intreaga
sud in cer de iarna-
cortinele se trag


  1. I enjoyed your haiku sequence - especially the line 'the shadow bites'. It looks nice in Romanian too, not a language I speak but it fascinates me....

  2. I saw your comment re my lunar eclipse Miami photo blog and visited yours. I took my photo using a Canon G5 and did not touch my small telescope. I used to run a Rotary fellowship on astronomy and we had a lot of great discussions then. I also saw your link to Craig England. I have a 25 year old DS son living with us (my wife and I) in Miami. These are great kids. I hope to visit your blogs periodically. Cheers.

  3. I'm just back from your post dated 31 January... 5 things about you, one is NOT true.
    It's got to be number five. Or else I want it NOW!!!!

    Sydney Daily Snap

  4. Under bloody moon
    Imagination flows
    The muse awakens