WORD LISTS

"Planetarium" by Adrienne Rich

March 28, 2012
Rich’s poem is inspired by Caroline Herschel, a British-German astronomer who discovered eight comets between 1786 and 1797. Read the poem here.
shape
A woman in the shape of a monster
a monster in the shape of a woman
the skies are full of them
monster
A woman in the shape of a monster
a monster in the shape of a woman
the skies are full of them
instrument
a woman 'in the snow
among the Clocks and instruments
or measuring the ground with poles'
measure
a woman 'in the snow
among the Clocks and instruments
or measuring the ground with poles'
discover
in her 98 years to discover
8 comets
levitate
she whom the moon ruled
like us
levitating into the night sky
riding the polished lenses
galaxy
Galaxies of women, there
doing penance for impetuousness
ribs chilled
in those spaces of the mind
penance
Galaxies of women, there
doing penance for impetuousness
ribs chilled
in those spaces of the mind
impetuous
Galaxies of women, there
doing penance for impetuousness
ribs chilled
in those spaces of the mind
virile
An eye,

' virile, precise and absolutely certain'
from the mad webs of Uranusborg
precise
An eye,

'virile, precise and absolutely certain'
from the mad webs of Uranusborg
absolutely
An eye,

'virile, precise and absolutely certain'
from the mad webs of Uranusborg
encounter
encountering the NOVA

every impulse of light exploding

from the core
as life flies out of us
impulse
encountering the NOVA

every impulse of light exploding

from the core
as life flies out of us
core
encountering the NOVA

every impulse of light exploding

from the core
as life flies out of us
whisper
Tycho whispering at last
vain
'Let me not seem to have lived in vain'
battery
I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
signal
I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
transmit
I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
universe
I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
translate
I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.
image
I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.
relief
I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.
reconstruction
I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.

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