For the Conjunction of Two Planets by Adrienne Rich
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 medival 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 the things we long to see
In fiery iconography?