Voyage to the Moon

Voyage to the Moon

Wanderer in our skies,
dazzle of silver in our leaves and on our
waters silver, O
silver evasion in our farthest thought—
"the visiting moon," "the glimpses of the moon,"

and we have found her.

From the first of time,
before the first of time, before the
first men tasted time, we sought for her.
She was a wonder to us, unattainable,
a longing past the reach of longing,
a light beyond our lights, our lives—perhaps
a meaning to us—O, a meaning!

Now we have found her in her nest of night.

Three days and three nights we journeyed,
steered by farthest stars, climbed outward,
crossed the invisible tide-rip where the floating dust
falls one way or the other in the void between,
followed that other down, encountered
cold, faced death, unfathomable emptiness.

Now, the fourth day evening, we descend,
make fast, set foot at last upon her beaches,
stand in her silence, lift our heads and see
above her, wanderer in her sky,
a wonder to us past the reach of wonder,
a light beyond our lights, our lives, the rising
a meaning to us,
O, a meaning!

— Archibald MacLeish

"Voyage to the Moon," is from Collected Poems, 1917-1982 by Archibald MacLeish. Copyright © 1985 by the Estate of Archibald MacLeish. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)

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