Seeing the Eclipse in Maine

By Robert Bly b. 1926 Robert Bly
It started about noon.  On top of Mount Batte,   
We were all exclaiming.  Someone had a cardboard   
And a pin, and we all cried out when the sun   
Appeared in tiny form on the notebook cover.   

It was hard to believe.  The high school teacher   
We’d met called it a pinhole camera,   
People in the Renaissance loved to do that.   
And when the moon had passed partly through   

We saw on a rock underneath a fir tree,   
Dozens of crescents—made the same way—   
Thousands!  Even our straw hats produced   
A few as we moved them over the bare granite.   

We shared chocolate, and one man from Maine   
Told a joke.  Suns were everywhere—at our feet.

Poem copyright © 1997 by Robert Bly, whose most recent book of poetry is My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy, Harper Perennial, 2006. Poem reprinted from Music, Pictures, and Stories, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2002, by permission of the writer.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Robert Bly b. 1926

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Robert  Bly

Biography

Since the 1960s, Robert Bly has written poetry that is nonacademic, based in the natural world, the visionary, and the realm of the irrational. As a poet, editor and translator, Bly has profoundly affected American verse, introducing many unknown European and South American poets to new readers. In addition to his poetic endeavors, he has gained attention for his theories on the roots of social problems, and his efforts to help . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.