“Mizar” and “Alcor” in Winter

By Timothy Murphy b. 1951 Timothy Murphy
Cirrus dispersed. As a black night grew colder,
clearer, I spied the binary in the handle
of the Big Dipper dangling above my shoulder,
a pinprick twinkling by a blinding candle.

Absent the moon, its boreal corona,
I watched the stars rise east of Ellendale,
Guelph and Ludden, then wheel above Verona
and sleeping friends who farm near Englevale.

A thousand miles of road: I’d shunned the pavement
which bears the burdens I no longer ferry,
the cargo of material enslavement.
Six eagles hunted small game on the prairie.

An Arab prince’s fortunes once were measured
by blooded foals, by sons his wives could dandle,
by tributary quatrains to be treasured
and his eyesight: a pinprick by a candle.

Source: Poetry (January 2010).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the January 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2010

Biography

Timothy Murphy still hunts in the Dakotas. His most recent book is the Longman Cultural Edition of Beowulf (2004).

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

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.