Tuesday Poem: And yet it moves, by Helen Heath

And yet it moves                                  Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

you say of the earth
      – not the sun around us.

You cannot close your eyes
to the view at the end

of the eyeglass. Faith
is not a veil. Eyes drawn

to the stars, the suns, again
and again for years until

they burn through your lenses
twin black holes, one for each eye.

The dark slowly spreads.
The inquisition judges heresy,

commands a recant, wants blind
allegiance from a man in the dark

so you recant, muttering
and yet it moves.

Credit note: “And yet it moves” was published in Helen Heath’s collection Graft (VUP, 2012) and is reproduced here by permission of the author.

Tim says: I’ve just finished reading Graft, and while I enjoyed the whole collection, the highlight for me was a number of wonderful poems about science, scientists and the history of science – other include the prizewinning Making tea in the universe and Night’s Magic. This poem about Galileo Galilei elegantly captures the great dilemma of his life.

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4 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: And yet it moves, by Helen Heath

  1. love it, helen.haven't read GRAFT yet, will look out for in bookshops and libraries.more and more, i like reading non-fiction, and am reading some science at the moment: 'the owl that fell from the sky – stories of a museum curator' by brian gill at auckland museum. i like it too.-m

  2. I really liked the fairy tale sequence, too, although in fact the whole collection is outstanding (imho)… Just sayin' :)(Also just sayin' – can't even begin to make out the thing that's meant to prove I'm not a robot. Now for my second try!)

  3. Thanks for your comments, Madeleine, Helen L and Helen M!Helen L, I think Helen's collection as a whole is extremely strong – but I guess it was the poems about science and scientists that spoke to me the most immediately.

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