Witnessing the Launch of the Shuttle Atlantis
So much of life in the world is waiting, that
This day was no exception, so we waited
All morning long and into the afternoon.
I spent some of the time remembering
Dante, who did the voyage in the mind
Alone, with no more nor heavier machinery
Than the ghost of a girl giving him guidance;
And wondered if much was lost to gain all this
New world of engine and energy, where dream
Translates into deed. But when the thing went up
It was indeed impressive, as if hell
Itself opened to send its emissary
In search of heaven or 'the unpeopled world'
(thus Dante of doomed Ulysses) 'behind the sun.'
So much of life in the world is memory
That the moment of the happening itself—
So much with noise and smoke and rising clear
To vanish at the limit of our vision
Into the light blue light of afternoon—
Appeared no more, against the void in aim,
Than the flare of a match in sunlight, quickly snuffed.
What yet may come of this? We cannot know.
Great things are promised, as the promised land
Promised to Moses that he would not see
But a distant sight of, though the children would.
The world is made of pictures of the world,
And the pictures change the world into another world
We cannot know, as we knew not this one.
Howard Nemerov's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Witnessing the Launch of the Shuttle Atlantis by Howard Nemerov )
- / Ek Burkhawalli She Pyar-mohabbat/ Ek P.., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Boond Boond Boond Barse Chain, Yashvardhan Goel
- O My God, Meri Ek Bhi Nahin, Uski Tin-Ti.., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Fabus Indulcet Fames, michael walkerjohn
- One Not, But Three Bibis, Veiled Wives, .., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Alive In S'November To Remember - The Ta.., Joe Muschaweck
- Each Day With You KP, Michael McParland
- थिरिँ बिरिँ x6, Ronjoy Brahma
- debauched, Frank Weedings
- The Doubter and the Doubt , Ananta Madhavan
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Marriage(Divine Relation), binod bastola
- YOUR SADNESS DRAWS A SAD PICTURE, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)