In 2003 I began work on a research project that has taken me to places that I never imagined: the cultural heritage of space exploration. Now I am determined to bring to light the secrets at the heart of the Space Age.
A couple of years ago I made an excursion into lunar poetry to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. At the moment I'm investigating the cultural significance of the entire moon in the context of proposed lunar mining. A random train of connections led to this evocative poem by Elizabeth Ridell. I like the conjunction of small domestic events and sensations with the astronomical event happening in the skies above, and the moon wild and glittering.....
This is a profitable night, the moon’s eclipse
at last a reason for not sleeping.
There is a reason to wake every hour
to observe the shape and size of door and window
and wall and picture frame,
turn on the lamp, open the book
and let it fall away, reason to rise, make tea,
pad to the door,
stand on cool tiles
to watch the invaded moon.
I see a jagged one third of her beauty left
and somewhere, black layers back,
a rim of light.
Sometimes the moon strays into daytime skies
Tonight she was glittering and wild
until the mask slid down,
erasing all her gold.
Source: The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people compiled by Libby Hathorn (ABC Books 2010)