sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 2, 2016

bloggers’ silent poetry reading: kyle dargan
posted by soe 2:20 am

The start of this month marks the tenth Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading in honor of St. Brigid, patron saint of poetry. (I admit to no longer being fully sure of what day it’s supposed to be. We all started on Feb. 2, but it seems to have migrated to the 1st over the years, which is when St. Brigid’s Day is actually celebrated. I am a traditionalist on this issue and always participate on the 2nd.) I think there are only a few of us left who participate, since the originator of the event has gotten rid of her blog and even the Facebook group page has gone mostly silent.

Without additional fuss, here is this year’s poem:

Pale Blue Dot
    ~Kyle Dargan

We’re far enough from heaven. Now, we can freak out.
~Deep Cotton

Either a romantic or subtle sadist,
Carl Sagan begged NASA to burn
Voyager’s hydrazine thrusters,
rotating her hull so she might
capture one last snapshot
before drifting beyond radio
tether—exiting the literal
edge of our galaxy.
The image she spat back:
bands of deconstructed rainbow
and one blue speck. That’s us,
some astronomer gasped
once the matter of his mind
could discern our infinitesimal
everything wrapped in blue
fabric—atmosphere’s loomed light,
which we recognize from pristine
days when our eyes pan upward.
thought we have that photograph,
only Voyager has felt the cold
pull of witnessing all that we are
fitted on the head of a pin
pushed into a black expanse
wider than any sky we’ll ever face.


Pale Blue Dot
By Voyager 1, via Wikimedia Commons

I went back and forth about which poem of Dargan’s, who is a D.C. resident and professor, to include here, since I just finished his 2015 poetry collection Honest Engine: Poems. It came down to two choices, one of which used the local, close-up to illustrate the larger picture, and the other, which won out, which used the cosmos to illustrate what’s unknowable closer to home.

In previous years, I have shared poems by Barbara Crooker, William Stafford, Mary Oliver (twice), Wislawa Szymborska, Stuart Dischell, Jean Esteve, John Frederick Nims, Grace Paley, Heather McHugh, and Barbara Hamby, all of which are worth another read.

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