"Planetarium" by Adrienne Rich

Rich’s poem is inspired by Caroline Herschel, a British-German astronomer who discovered eight comets between 1786 and 1797. Read the poem here.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. shape
    the visual appearance of something or someone
    A woman in the shape of a monster
    a monster in the shape of a woman
    the skies are full of them
  2. monster
    an imaginary creature usually having human and animal parts
    A woman in the shape of a monster
    a monster in the shape of a woman
    the skies are full of them
  3. instrument
    a device that requires skill for proper use
    a woman 'in the snow
    among the Clocks and instruments
    or measuring the ground with poles'
  4. measure
    determine the dimensions of something or somebody
    a woman 'in the snow
    among the Clocks and instruments
    or measuring the ground with poles'
  5. discover
    determine the existence, presence, or fact of
    in her 98 years to discover
    8 comets
  6. levitate
    be suspended in the air, as if in defiance of gravity
    she whom the moon ruled
    like us
    levitating into the night sky
    riding the polished lenses
  7. galaxy
    a collection of star systems
    Galaxies of women, there
    doing penance for impetuousness
    ribs chilled
    in those spaces of the mind
  8. penance
    voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for something
    Galaxies of women, there
    doing penance for impetuousness
    ribs chilled
    in those spaces of the mind
  9. impetuous
    characterized by undue haste and lack of thought
    Galaxies of women, there
    doing penance for impetuousness
    ribs chilled
    in those spaces of the mind
  10. virile
    characteristic of a man
    An eye,

    ' virile, precise and absolutely certain'
    from the mad webs of Uranusborg
  11. precise
    sharply exact or accurate or delimited
    An eye,

    'virile, precise and absolutely certain'
    from the mad webs of Uranusborg
  12. absolutely
    totally and definitely; without question
    An eye,

    'virile, precise and absolutely certain'
    from the mad webs of Uranusborg
  13. encounter
    come upon, as if by accident
    encountering the NOVA

    every impulse of light exploding

    from the core
    as life flies out of us
  14. impulse
    an impelling force or strength
    encountering the NOVA

    every impulse of light exploding

    from the core
    as life flies out of us
  15. core
    the center of an object
    encountering the NOVA

    every impulse of light exploding

    from the core
    as life flies out of us
  16. whisper
    speaking softly without vibration of the vocal cords
    Tycho whispering at last
  17. vain
    unproductive of success
    'Let me not seem to have lived in vain'
  18. battery
    a collection of related things intended for use together
    I have been standing all my life in the
    direct path of a battery of signals
    the most accurately transmitted most
    untranslatable language in the universe
  19. signal
    any action or gesture that encodes a message
    I have been standing all my life in the
    direct path of a battery of signals
    the most accurately transmitted most
    untranslatable language in the universe
  20. transmit
    send from one person or place to another
    I have been standing all my life in the
    direct path of a battery of signals
    the most accurately transmitted most
    untranslatable language in the universe
  21. universe
    everything that exists anywhere
    I have been standing all my life in the
    direct path of a battery of signals
    the most accurately transmitted most
    untranslatable language in the universe
  22. translate
    change from one form or medium into another
    I am an instrument in the shape
    of a woman trying to translate pulsations
    into images for the relief of the body
    and the reconstruction of the mind.
  23. image
    a visual representation produced on a surface
    I am an instrument in the shape
    of a woman trying to translate pulsations
    into images for the relief of the body
    and the reconstruction of the mind.
  24. relief
    the act of reducing something unpleasant
    I am an instrument in the shape
    of a woman trying to translate pulsations
    into images for the relief of the body
    and the reconstruction of the mind.
  25. reconstruction
    the activity of building something again
    I am an instrument in the shape
    of a woman trying to translate pulsations
    into images for the relief of the body
    and the reconstruction of the mind.

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