We say the sun comes up

A new poem from Kate Bingham.

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We say the sun comes up (though Galileo
proved the opposite) insisting on
the obviousness of our point of view,
an old conceit to get us through the day

as we got through it centuries ago
when knowing all the heavenly firmament shone
round us was as self-evidently true
as that an English summer must give way

to cooler autumn weather, frost and snow
the further from the sun we go, each season
its own season. Slow adapting to
revised reality, we live by cliché,

fixed in turns of phrase that satisfy
what we still feel when we look at the sky.

Kate Bingham is the author of two novels and three poetry collections, including Infragreen and Quicksand Beach, which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize.

This article appears in the 06 November 2019 issue of the New Statesman, What went wrong