Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Syzygia

[As some of you may know, the last month of my life has largely been consumed in finding new accommodations in New York City, hence the sporadic blogging.

Now that I am living in Jackson Heights, and not waking up at odd hours, worried about what sort of chintzes will look right with my flounces, and other highly distracting decorative issues, I hope to return to the blogosphere with more fun-packed, thrill-packed adventure stories. Or poems. Or pretentious mental perambulations.

Perhaps the best thing I can do is plunge back into writing, in media res. Here is a post I started a few weeks ago, on the occassion of
the great total solar eclipse visible in Asia. ]

...

Syzygy, the word from whence the title of today's posting is derived, is one of those fantastic late Latin words which would be a gorgeous diamond necklace of a gift to a clever Scrabble player IF there were another Y tile included in the standard Scrabble set. Unfortunately there are only two Ys contained therein. And not a single wherefore to account for it. Ah well, C'est la vie. For our purposes today, the far more inferior syzygia (a far more Scrabble friendly word, you see) will have to do.

Wikipedia defines 'syzygia' as, "the alignment of three or more celestial bodies in the same gravitational system along a plane." Here is a little poem that describes how I was guided through my first experience with that peculiar celestial phenomena.




Home


Thin flakes of the sweetest chocolate paint
Curled deliciously from our door trim;
I had a neighbor who would almost faint
When I pretended to be eating them.

She planted flowers with strange leaves—like hearts—
On either side of her gas meter. She
Had me collect their seeds in olive jars
Because I said they looked like bombs to me.

Her house was where I saw my first eclipse.
We gathered to observe it on the lawn:
Before one word of wonder reached my lips,
The birds stopped singing and the sun was gone.

My feet instinctively gripped the grass
When my grandmother squeezed my hand.
Why they told us, “Don’t be afraid,” in class,
She said she would never understand.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice to have you back!

Shropshirelad said...

Thanks!

::: TN ::: said...

I promptly tried this word on someone... and he surmised the meaning though he has never heard of it. I was shocked + impressed. He said, "Sounds like something that happens in outerspace." Whoa!

I would have said it's a sudden onset of vertigo which leads to cardiac arrest. A condition that is possibly endemic to whirling Dervishes

Shropshirelad said...

I am shocked + impressed, too. You have clever friends!

I had almost forgotten Syzygia until I came to play with the poem and went poking around Wiki.