Instead, he said, Brother! I know your hunger.To this, the Wolf answered, Lo!
We were running out of breath, as we ran out to meet ourselves. Wewere surfacing the edge of our ancestors’ fights, and ready to strike.It was difficult to lose days in the Indian bar if you were straight.Easy if you played pool and drank to remember to forget. Wemade plans to be professional — and did. And some of us could singso we drummed a fire-lit pathway up to those starry stars. Sinwas invented by the Christians, as was the Devil, we sang. Wewere the heathens, but needed to be saved from them — thinchance. We knew we were all related in this story, a little ginwill clarify the dark and make us all feel like dancing. Wehad something to do with the origins of blues and jazzI argued with a Pueblo as I filled the jukebox with dimes in June,forty years later and we still want justice. We are still America. Weknow the rumors of our demise. We spit them out. They diesoon.
A Responsibility to Awe is a contemporary classic, a book of poems and reflections by a scientist for whom poetry was a necessary aspect of research, crucial to understanding the world and her place in it, even as, having contracted terminal cancer, she confronted her early death. Rebecca Elson was an astronomer; her work took her to the boundary of the visible and measurable. `Facts are only as interesting as the possibilities they open up to the imagination,' she wrote. Her poems, like her researches, build imaginative inferences and speculations, setting out from observation, undeterred by knowing how little we can know.
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