Categories: Literature & the Arts Science & Cosmology
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is flying by our most beloved dwarf planet, with images expected to arrive back to Earth later this evening. As we wait in suspense, knowing that debris the size of a grain of rice could swiftly disable the spacecraft 1, here’s a poem from Pluto: New Horizons for a Lost Horizon about the reclassification of Pluto.
Don’t feel small. We all have
been demoted. Go on being
moon or rock or orb, buoyant
and distant, smallest craft ball
at Vanevenhoven’s Hardware
spray-painted purple or day-glow
orange for a child’s elliptical vision
of fish line, cardboard and foam.
No spacecraft has touched you,
no flesh met the luster of your
heavenly body. Little cold one, blow
your horn. No matter what you are
planet, and something other than
planet, ancient but not “classical,”
the controversy over what to call you
light-hours from your ears. On Earth
we tend to nurture the diminutive,
root for the diminished. None
of your neighbors knows your name.
Nothing has changed. If Charon’s
not your moon, who cares? She
remains unmoved, your companion.