gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Umbraphiles And Being Put Into The Shade - Poem by gershon hepner


People who are lovers of the sun’s eclipses
are known as umbraphiles, which doesn’t mean that they
believe that God is an umbrella, although gypsies,
of whose beliefs I know extremely little, may.

Some people used to think eclipses were a portent
of bad things that would happen, by them made afraid.
For those who dream that they’re the sun it is important
to find a moon so they’ll be put into the shade.

Joseph found such shade in Egypt while exilic,
and let himself be covered by fair Asenath.
Every student of the sun who’s umbraphilic
becomes ecstatic when the moon is in its path.

Jay M. Pasachoff, who teaches astronomy at Williams College, writes in the NYT,7/10/10, about being an umbraphile:

ON this Pacific outpost,2,200 miles west of the South American coast, hundreds of us have gathered, exchanging warm greetings and catching up on life since we last saw one another — in the Galápagos five years ago, or in Zambia nine years ago, or in Papua New Guinea 16 years ago. We are umbraphiles: having once stood in the umbra, the Moon’s shadow, during a solar eclipse, we are driven to do so again and again, whenever the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun. In 1959, I saw my first eclipse. Sunday afternoon, I’ll see my 51st.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 26, 2012

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