Tag: meter

A.E. Housman, Nos. X and XI from “More Poems”

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X

The weeping Pleiads wester,
  And the moon is under seas;
From bourn to bourn of midnight
  Far sighs the rainy breeze:

It sighs from a lost country
  To a land I have not known;
The weeping Pleiads wester,
  And I lie down alone.

XI

The rainy Pleiads wester,
  Orion plunges prone;
The stroke of midnight ceases,
  And I lie down alone.

The rainy Pleiads wester
  And seek beyond the sea
The head that I shall dream of,
  And ’twill not dream of me.

* * *

Ah, Mr. Housman, so formal, so sorrowful, so beautiful. Iambic trimeter, with every other line starting with the first having an added half-beat at the end. Leaves you hanging on, leaves you unfulfilled and wanting resolution. This is how meter really works for you if you let it.

Found Poetry: The Crab Nebula and the Sounds of Pulsars

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MinnPost has a nifty feature where they pick a “website of the day” and highlight that site on their main page. Today’s site of the day is good stuff for the astronomy enthusiast – a link to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day project. Today’s picture is of the Crab Nebula, which was formed in a supernova – a supernova so spectacular it was noted and recorded here on Earth – in 1054 AD! At the center of the nebula is a neutron star, a super-dense star. This one is actually a pulsar – it’s highly magentized, so it spins and throws off radiation. Now here’s the cool part: we can listen to pulsars. This radiation blip is like clockwork, so you can hear each rotation tick off as it turns. (You can hear some of them anyway; the pulsar at the center of the Crab Nebula rotates 30 times a second, so it sounds more like a constant whir.) It may not be the prettiest sound in the world, but just think about it: you’re listening to a star!

So here you go: The Crab Nebula, and the sounds of stars.