Category Archives: Whitman

An Echo

Hubble 3

Echoes fall through time as well as space.                                                      Jon Ferguson wrote a collection of aphorisms he entitled:                     So Like Flowers…

This petal was called The History of Knowledge:

“How old are you?” a little girl asked the world. “I don’t know,” the world answered. Her older brother heard the conservation and butted in. “What do you mean you don’t know how old you are! You’re 13,000,000,000 years old!” “What makes you so sure?” the world said. “My science teacher told me.” “And do you believe him?” the world asked. “Of course I do. He’s my teacher.” “Before your teacher, other teachers had very different answers,” the world said calmly. “They were all wrong,” the boy said. “How can you be sure your teacher is right?” The boy became red in the face and angry. His little sister laughed. The boy hit her. She cried. The father came into the room and wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

It is perhaps an echo that falls upon our ears from  a 19th century poem by Walt Whitman:

Hubble 2

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,                                                        When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns, before me,  When I was shown the charts and diagrams , to add, divide, and measure them,                                                                                                           When I sitting heard the astromomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,                                                                             How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,                                     Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,                                       In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,                    Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars,