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12 July 2023

The NS Poem: Heliopause

A new poem by Maryann Corbett.

By Maryann Corbett

Voyager 1, launched in 1977, has left the solar system and entered interstellar space.

Their lineless faces, in the video feeds,
grin, and their flowing 1970s hair
flies as they roar applause. The picture bleeds

to Sagan, astronome extraordinaire,
expansive in pink shirt and op-art tie
and prophesying to the prime-time air

a golden message from humanity,
pitched to the nebulae. Cut to the now:
They ponder it, that last time they would see

their fragile, stick-limbed child, fixed to the prow
of a half-tamed explosion, poised to fling
itself at hope. And every grizzled brow

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lifts with the loft of that remembering,
still high on the strange songs they heard it sing.

Maryann Corbett is an American poet. Her most recent collection is “The O in the Air” (Franciscan University Press)

[See also: Find your island]

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This article appears in the 12 Jul 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Tabloid Nation