Tag Archives: Venus

For the Conjunction of Two Planets

Jupiter and Venus Conjunction. Image credit Kevin Jung.

We smile at astrological hopes
And leave the sky to expert men
Who do not reckon horoscopes
But painfully extend their ken
In mathematical debate
With slide and photographic plate.

And yet, protest it if we will,
Some corner of the mind retains
The medieval man, who still
Keeps watch upon those starry skeins
And drives us out of doors at night
To gaze at anagrams of light.

Whatever register or law
Is drawn in digits for these two,
Venus and Jupiter keep their awe,
Wardens of brilliance, as they do
Their dual circuit of the west-
The brightest planet and her guest.

Is any light so proudly thrust
From darkness on our lifted faces
A sign of something we can trust,
Or is it that in starry places
We see things we long to see
In fiery iconography?

Rich, Adrienne. Collected Early Poems, 1950-1970. New York: Norton, 1993. p. 54.

Photo found on this great site.


The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus was the brightest it has been in the Chicago sky for years.  The viewing of such a beautiful astronomical event in my adopted metropolis was an almost sacred experience for me, transporting me from my urban prison to the wild, rolling hills locked deep in my memory.


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Venera 9 Revisited

The Leconfield Aphrodite. Petworth House, Sussex.

But her reality is something beautifully unexpected,
round and regular as the goddess herself
surprised at her bath.

Poem posted in its entirety here.

Image found in
Jenkins, Ian and Geoffrey B. Waywell. Sculptors and Sculpture of Caria and the Dodecanese. British Museum Press, 1997. Fig 154.

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Venera 9

Rudaux, Lucian. Sur les autres mondes. Rudaux's view of a craft entering the atmosphere of Venus.

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.

image from
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.

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