The Cosmos Poems

The Cosmos Poems

by Seidel

Hardcover(1ST TRADE)

$13.00 View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Poems from the author of Going Fast.

A can of shaving cream inflates
A ping-pong ball of lather,

Thick, hot, smaller than an atom, soon

The size of the world.

This does take time to happen.
Back at the start

Again, a pinprick swells so violently

It shoots out

Hallways to other worlds,
But keeps expanding

Till it is all

There is. The universe is all there is.


—from "Mirror Full of Stars"

The Cosmos Poems is about the universe: who it is, how it is, how it came to be, what is going to happen; when, why, who you are; what there was before it was; the smallness and the vastness, as told by a child to a child, in which quantum mechanics makes friends with special relativity forever. Frederick Seidel's poems tell the story.

Frederick Seidel's previous books of poems are Final Solutions; Sunrise, winner of the Lamont Prize and the 1980 National Book Critics Circle Award; These Days; Poems 1959-1979; My Tokyo(FSG, 1993); and Going Fast (FSG, 1998). He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374528027
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 04/01/2001
Edition description: 1ST TRADE
Pages: 68
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.33(d)

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One

I

INTO THE EMPTINESS


Into the emptiness that weighs
More than the universe
Another universe begins
Smaller than the last.

Begins to smaller
Than the last.
Dimensions
Do not yet exist.

My friend, the darkness
Into which the seed
Of all eleven dimensions
Is planted is small.

Travel with me back
Before it grows to more.
The church bell bongs,
Which means it must be noon.

Some are playing hopscotch
Or skipping rope during recess,
And some are swinging on swings,
And seesaws are seesawing.

That she is shy,
Which means it must be May,
Turns into virgin snow
And walking mittened home with laughing friends.

And the small birds singing,
And the sudden silence,
And the curtains billow,
And the spring thunder will follow—

And the rush of freshness,
And the epileptic fit that foams.
The universe does not exist
Before it does.


II

MIRROR FULL OF STARS


A can of shaving cream inflates
A ping-pong ball of lather,
Thick, hot, smaller than an atom, soon
The size of the world.

This does take time to happen.
Back at the start
Again, a pinprick swells so violently
It shoots out

Hallways to other worlds,
But keeps expanding
Till it is all
There is. The universe is all there is.

Don't play with matches.
The candle flame follows her
With its eyes. The night sky is a mirror
On a wall.

What she stands in front of are the roaring afterburners
Of the distant stars a foot away
Leaving for another world. They have been summoned
To leave her

For another girl
In another world who stands there looking
In a mirror full of stars
At herself in her room.

The room is not really,
But it might be. If there is
Something else as beautiful
As this snow softly falling outside, say.

The universe begins
With a hot ball of lather expanding
In a hand
That should be in her bed asleep.

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