Was it really so much lost
-a few proteges, some melted precious metals-
for a glimpse at the surface
of her bright & silent inferno?
We’ve staked our claim.
Burned into her insatiable atmosphere,
we can no longer be content
with the old mythologies
from a faint stellar glow.
Can a love poem be without this pain?
Now that we’re here,
swirling and minute as last breath,
love in its large, spinning sphere
makes imagination irrelevant.
But her reality is something beautifully unexpected,
round and regular as the goddess herself
surprised at her bath.
Brashear, Ronald and Daniel Lewis. Star Struck: One Thousand Years of the Art and Science of Astronomy. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001. p 150.
More information on Venus and the Soviet Venera mission here.