Skylab

Rolf Jacobsen

Translated by Roger Greenwald
 
We've come so far, thought the astronaut
as he swam around the capsule in his third week
and by accident kicked a god in the eye
--so far
that there's no difference anymore between up and down,
north and south, heavy and light.
And how, then, can we know righteousness.
So far.
And weightless, in a sealed room
we chase the sunrises at high speed
and sicken with longing for a green stalk
or the heft of something in our hands. Lifting a stone.
One night he saw that the Earth was like an open eye
that looked at him as gravely as the eye of a child
awakened in the middle of the night.
 
From North in the World: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen, translated and edited by Roger Greenwald. Translation © 2002 by Roger Greenwald. Reprinted by permission of the University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved.

Further Reading

Poems About Outer Space
A Clear Midnight
by Walt Whitman
Back Yard
by Carl Sandburg
Bright Star
by John Keats
Comet Hyakutake
by Arthur Sze
I'm Over the Moon
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Let Evening Come
by Jane Kenyon
Mars Poetica
by Wyn Cooper
Moon Gathering
by Eleanor Wilner
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck (Sonnet 14)
by William Shakespeare
Now that no one looking
by Adam Kirsch
Orion
by Susan Gevirtz
She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon Byron
Sky
by Anzhelina Polonskaya
Star Quilt
by Roberta J. Hill
Starlight
by William Meredith
The Falling Star
by Sara Teasdale
The Star
by Jane Taylor
The Truth About Northern Lights
by Christine Hume
To the Moon [fragment]
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Yellow Stars and Ice
by Susan Stewart