The Hubble Cantos
“O blinding hour, O holy terrible day, When first the shaft into his vision shone of light anatomized! Euclid alone has looked on beauty bare...”
Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sonnet xlv
“But the rest of us need metaphors.”
What are critics saying about Tree Riesener's The Hubble Cantos?
"Tree Riesener’s Hubble Cantos is a sustained meditation on the cosmos revealed to us by modern science—not an enterprise apart from or alien to us, but the latest attempt to unfold our world and situate our humanity—and this work of the poet’s hand is no less critical than that of the astronomer to which it responds. We humanize the mysteries we touch, but we also respect their distance and difference from us, and in this our true understanding lies. Riesener’s cycle, with its freshness of language, its surprises of insight, and its fusion of wit and pathos, importantly advances this, our great task and adventure."
—Robert Zaller, author of "Robinson Jeffers and the American Sublime" and "Speaking to Power: Poems."
"Lush and playful, Tree Riesener's the hubble cantos presents science as play -- the startling/familiar images present astronomy as sex, gestation, family. The heavens are awesome, but complicated as I'm sure scientists have been telling people for ages. Tree Riesener is able to turn the cosmos into poetry without misleading or misinforming the reader. Quasars and a variety of nebulae are personified. The language here is exciting -- unusual word connections and comparisons lead the reader to unusual and surprising revelations. Stars and cosmos retain the names given to them by the ancients though the original stories and myths matter less and less to the scientists who study them. With this collection, Tree Riesener creates new myths to illustrate the stars."
—Courtney Bambrick, Poetry Editor of Philadelphia Stories
Poems in The Hubble Cantos: I've attached a link to an image of each of the celestial phenomena (links in public domain).
Since humans first looked up at the sky, we have used our imaginations to try to explain what we see. One of the most intriguing efforts is The Voynich Manuscript, with its curious pictures and indecipherable text.
barred spiral galaxy nursery
blinking nebula veil nebula and cygnus
butterfly and other nebulae
hurricane jeanne and abell 754
hale-bopp and heaven’s gate
tone poem rho ophiuchi
eden between the stars
elegy for a supernova