When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
… the balloon whispered itself fat with the hot air rising inside … It was so beautiful, with the light and the shadows dancing inside … It floated up above the apple trees, over the beginning-to-sleep town, and across the night among the stars.
~Ray Bradbury (d. June 6, 2012)
New Yorkers never look up, that’s what they say, but maybe you were out of town, or curious, or practicing a new yoga move, and noted these reasons to glance skyward:
After all of that, you’re probably ready to look back down and let your mind do the wandering. Here are some ABRAMS titles to to remind you of the perfect silence:
Planetfall: New Solar System Visions by Michael Benson (Abrams Books, October 2012)
Babar Visits Another Planet by Laurent de Brunhoff (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012)
Full Moon and Star by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Illustrated by Marcellus Hall (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011)
Beyond: A Solar System Voyage by Michael Benson (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2009)
The Universe: 365 Days by Robert J. Nemiroff and Jerry T. Bonnell (Abrams Books, 2003)
Lindy Humphreys is Director of Digital Assets and Publishing Technology at ABRAMS.
Manhattanhenge photo courtesy of Chris Blank.