The Other Side of Saturn*

for Kimberly

Pratt's drawing of Saturn, 1896.

Saturn from Earth. One of the best photos by an Earth-based observatory. 16 original color images taken the same night at the Catalina observatory were combined to make this photograph.

I remember how it was in the beginning.

The frightening excitement,
the depravity we’d only read about,
the swelling of dunes we thought
we were too old for,
that we had missed.

The love that buffets,
that hollows our skulls’ sockets
widens the possibility that it(we) may not exist.

So large, windy, vast
like staring at the other side of Saturn
through the eyes of the satellite
as it races to the outer edge
beyond our ears’ grasp.

The thrill is in the discovery.
We cannot live there.

The best view of Saturn from Pioneer 11, August 26, 1979. The Pioneer 11 was the first probe to encounter Saturn.

Saturn from Voyager 2, June 1981.

First image found in
Todd, David. A New Astronomy. New York: American Book Company, 1906. p. 367.

Last three images found in
Kaufmann, WIlliam J. Universe. New York: WH Freeman and Company, 1991. pp. 284, 289, 290.

*This documentary is what stirred me to start this project. Voyager’s visit of Saturn starts at 24:20. The other side of Saturn starts at 30:30.


1 Comment

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One response to “The Other Side of Saturn*

  1. I like futuristic poetry like this, although that’s not what I write. This is a good poem.

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