Poems of the Week

Object Lesson

by Julia Griffin

“A new object has been discovered in the distant reaches of our solar system and given the name FarFarOut, according to a prominent astronomer.”—The Guardian

Time was when space was full of tales:
When Greek was still our mentor,
We had the Virgin and the Scales,
The Hunter and the Centaur;

The clustered moons of Jupiter
Were loves to share his slumbers;
But now astronomers prefer
To name things after numbers;

Alternatively, it appears,
The latest sort of craze is
To fasten on the cosmic spheres
Some well-selected phrases:

When now there swims into our ken
An object never labelled,
We call it not Square Root of Ten
Or Name of Someone Fabled,

But something that admits no doubt—
Not nerdified or silly:
Like, for example, FarFarOut,
Or LonelyLonelyChilly.