a sonnet of stars

September 27, 2008

The most recent writing assignment suggested to me has been to write a sonnet about constellations. After remembering just how frustrating writing in sonnet form can be, I’ve come up with something.

the pre-school teachers tell, “Now turn your thoughts
to page fifteen. Connect the dots from one
to end with makeshift lines as you’ve been taught
to form a common whole. And when you’re done
we’ll look to night. To understand the view,
we’ll plot the dark on graphs and maps.” Our eyes
so trained to see the lines, we look right through
the stars and see some dots. Sky’s twinking guise
is strange; we quickly craft our fabled gourds
and belts, familiar sights in foreign clouds.
We mar its magic with a name, record
its life, domesticate its light, too proud
of faulty facts—when all along a slow,
still, starlit night is better than to know.