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Lay for the Day
18th February

1930: at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, Clyde W. Tombaugh is the first human to see the ninth planet of the solar system, Pluto.
(Its classification as a planet has since been disputed, following the discovery of a number of other similarly icy “dwarf planets” in the outer reaches of our system.)
A poem from the book of Praises.

24. Of Pluto

Whom the Greeks were loth to name,
striking the ground when they did:

not the bright antagonist,
subtle malefic agent,

but the eerie and needful
god underlying the grave

whose throne set in sightless halls
is ringed with water’s echoes.

Murmuring, we undergo
the loss of our upward way.

Threads of gold and iron twist
us together, tormented

by weight. Mortal presences
crowd the chambers of the heart.

From which unillumable
pressure, restored to the world

of the cloud and the crocus,
between blind stones we rise up

healing, with unearthed power.

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems


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