Naming the Stars

Joyce Sutphen

This present tragedy will eventually
turn into myth, and in the mist
of that later telling the bell tolling
now will be a symbol, or, at least,
a sign of something long since lost.

This will be another one of those
loose changes, the rearrangement of
hearts, just parts of old lives
patched together, gathered into
a dim constellation, small consolation.

Look, we will say, you can almost see
the outline there: her fingertips
touching his, the faint fusion
of two bodies breaking into light.


My Interpretation

This poem, I thought, was initially about people who have lost love ones and how, eventually, they are almost forgotten.  This shows how the stars remind us of the lost ones, like when they die they become part of the heavens and the beauty that exists in the sky. When reading through a second time I realized that Naming the Stars is just that. Remembering the people we've lost and using the heavens to remind us of them. The background of this page really describes what I first visualized, that's one of the reasons I choose it for this site.