Buhl Planetarium Poem

Poem Authored By Ann Curran *** Web Page Designed By Glenn A. Walsh
Sponsored By Friends of the Zeiss
Electronic Mail: < curranpoem@planetarium.cc > *** Internet Web Site Cover Page: < http://www.planetarium.cc >
This Internet Web Page: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/poetry/currana.html >
News: Astronomy, Space, Science: SpaceWatchtower Blog
2012 December

The following is a poem written about Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, in January to October of 2012, by Pittsburgh poet Ann Curran, a former Buhl Planetarium employee.

You can learn more about Pittsburgh poet Ann Curran at this link.

Me and Buhl Planetarium

By Ann Curran

The Van de Graaff generator always sparks
excitement at Buhl Planetarium.
An aide, I put my hand to that silver ball.
I feel the sting, my hair rises. I touch kids,
pass the shock years before our microwaved world.
We play with fire and ignore it for the kick.

Buhl ejects me from my white, Catholic orbit.
I gain a black buddy with gorgeous green eyes,
humor that lightens dark days. A Jewish guy
who wants to date me like I want to date him
is engaged to a Jewish girl. That was that.

Upstairs in the observatory, I shrink
before dark sun spots captured on a white disk.
I am stunned to prayer by Saturn and its rings.

The Foucault pendulum hypnotizes all
as it moves back and forth across the pit floor.
Won’t it ever strike down the next pin in the pit?
When I tell the story, I get halfway through—
stumble on the free-swinging wire, Earth’s movement—
no longer believe a word of what I’ve said.

The aides spend hours repairing Science Fair
exhibits. Small hands ignore do-not-touch signs.
The glue dries, the Scotch tape gives way, things fall loose.

The biggest thrill for planetarium aides:
the Sky Show in the Theater of the Stars.
It runs all day. People sit in this round globe
of a room. Lights dim. The Zeiss projector lifts
slowly from the floor like an alien ship.
It splatters the walls with stars and galaxies.
A disembodied voice takes us beyond Earth.

Meanwhile, two aides slip into silver costumes,
go out on the catwalk behind the curved walls.
The voice snaps on our lights. We play astronauts.
We confer. Shake our heads yes. Shake our heads no.
Shrug maybe. Click switches. Study our checklists.
We pretend that all is under our control
as we wing through space and the commanding voice
tells the piddling bit we know of the universe.

© Copyright 2012 Ann Curran, All Rights Reserved.

Return to History of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh

Buhl Planetarium Poem by Ann Curran

Poem Authored By Ann Curran *** Web Page Designed By Glenn A. Walsh
Sponsored By Friends of the Zeiss
Electronic Mail: < curranpoem@planetarium.cc > *** Internet Web Site Cover Page: < http://www.planetarium.cc >
This Internet Web Page: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/poetry/currana.html >
News: Astronomy, Space, Science: SpaceWatchtower Blog
2012 December

NEWS: Planetarium, Astronomy, Space, and Other Sciences

See an Unexplained Object in the Sky ?
Have a Question About Astronomy or Other Sciences?
Ask an Expert from Friends of the Zeiss !

Internet Web Site Master Index for the History of
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh

Other Internet Web Sites of Interest

History of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh

History of Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, Chicago

Astronomer, Educator, and Telescope Maker John A. Brashear

History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries

Historic Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh

Disclaimer Statement: This Internet Web Site is not affiliated with the Andrew Carnegie Free Library,
Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves Civil War Reenactment Group, Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium and Observatory,
The Carnegie Science Center, The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Institute, or The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

This Internet, World Wide Web Site administered by Glenn A. Walsh.
Unless otherwise indicated, all pages in this web site are --
Poem is © Copyright 2012 Ann Curran, All Rights Reserved.
Web Page is © Copyright 2012, Glenn A. Walsh, All Rights Reserved.
Contact Web Site Administrator: < curranpoem@planetarium.cc >.

This Internet World Wide Web page created on 2012 December 15.
Last modified : Saturday, 15-Dec-2012 16:28:54 EST.

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