from the life of
sir john herschel
First was washed in a town called Slough.
Did all among them call him John?
In his father’s eye-steps followed to the double stars and catalogued.
The family’s focal length was for the farther.
An adept of the telescope he built at 24.
It suits me to say it so I say it: we thank you angled glass.
Shipping once to Cape Town on the ship Mountstuart Elphinstone, optics
in a crate.
In a private book of public worth, truly Margaret made the flora; John just
sketched the form.
The form: to see with reason.
Through language see the scope of time, in man the same, the time of stone.
As from A Midsummer Night’s Dream he named two moons.
It suits me to say it so I say it: those sorcerers orbit still.
Also, long a point on a line drawn by Darwin.
Who stopped and saw him when?
June 3, years after he discovered sodium thiosulfate—fixer—which
would stop the development of pictures.
And the tool to measure the heat of the sun?
Additionally, and toward English nudged the word “photography.”
Plus of his progeny, daughters and sons, 12.
And so I say it: could spot amongst the flowers a sweating weed.