flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
Sonnet: 20th July, 1969

They made it, we all made it, just a bit.
Like Vikings leaving runes and little more,
Taking the lesser light where God had placed it,
To show ourselves just what a heaven's for.
They loped like diving, suited kangaroos,
Over that sterile world of one-night stands
Driving golf balls and moon-buggies to amuse
The children, while the stars slipped through our hands.
They're gone now, to their shrinks and shrunken space,
The praises theirs; 'tis ours to wonder why
The world's still flat, and dreams are out of grace.
So I, believing less each summer, pry
Open that lost, last year to see the bright
Earth-jewel, smooth and blue, in velvet night.

(author unknown, published in Analog, July 1979)
flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
I'm a bit late with this one, but it's been a relatively slow couple of days for those of us on took quite a while for Apollo 11 to travel from the earth to the moon, after all!

At this stage in the mission, Columbia (the Apollo 11 Command Module) and Eagle (the Lunar Module) are orbiting the moon, and the astronauts are checking out all of Eagle's systems, receiving good wishes from Earth, and just generally preparing themselves for the tasks ahead: the landing will be the trickiest part of the entire mission, and they only get one shot...

Cut for poetry )


Jul. 16th, 2009 10:06 pm
flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
At this point in the Apollo 11 mission, launch has gone off without a hitch. The Apollo Command Module and Lunar Module are in orbit, and Mission Control and the astronauts are planning for the Trans-Lunar Injection burn which will kick them out of Earth's orbit and send them arrowing towards the moon.

Watch the launch here, and hear about it in the astronauts' own words. )

(Not really apologetic about spamming the flist with these Apollo 11 posts, because this is something that is too important not to remember.)
flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
Launch is in less than 8 hours, and a lot of people are anxious about the outcome...not least of whom are the astronauts' families.

Here's a poem by Pat Collins, the wife of astronaut Mike Collins, the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 11.

From an Astronaut's Spouse

I could have sought by wit or wile
Your bright dream to dim. And yet
If I'd swayed you with a smile
My reward would be regret.

So, for once, you shall not hear
Of the tears, unbidden, welling;
Or the nighttime stabs of fear.
These, this time, are not for telling.

Take my silence, though intended;
Fill it with the joy you feel.
Take my courage, now pretended--
You, my love, will make it real.

© written by Pat Collins to her husband, Mike, prior to his launch toward the moon on Apollo 11, from Carrying the Fire

flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
Since we're coming up on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, I felt the urge to post some moon poems over the next few days. (Hope the flist doesn't mind.)

For today, here are some classical Japanese waka (5-7-5-7-7), composed on the subject of the moon.

While I gaze upon it
I feel a certain distance:
The moon light
Makes its way to dwellings
Everywhere, I feel.

- Ki no Tsurayuki (Kokinshu XVII: 880)

On summer nights
It's just past sundown, and
Already dawn is breaking,
But, where amongst the clouds
Does the moon find lodging?

- Fukayabu (Kokinshu III: 166)

When on an autumn night,
The moonlight
Through even mountains of Darkness
Can I make my way.

- Ariwara no Motokata (Kokinshu IV: 195)

Without a trace of cloud,
For a thousand years upon the limpid
Water’s surface
The lodging moon
Light brings peace.

- Murasaki Shikibu (Shinkokinshu VII: 722)

At the mountain's edge
A darling boy:
The field of heaven
He wades across, his light
A pleasant sight.

- Lady Otomo no Sakanoue (Man'yoshu VI: 983; "darling boy" was a poetic nickname for the moon)



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