Seeing the Eclipse in Maine

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.
Source: 1997
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