Present-day astronomy, vast, complex, is looking through darkness to distant objects and times. Yet its discoveries aren’t exclusively scientific: from the moons of Pluto to the Doppler effect, the night sky screens a place where math meets myth. Now, in Zero Kelvin, in scenes that shift from the mountains of Goma to the mountains of the moon, from galaxies that feast upon their neighbours to a solar sail unfurling above Earth’s orbit, Richard Norman’s poetry probes both newly glimpsed corners of the universe, and the myths which bring them into focus.
It is a human urge—
to orbit backwards at great speed.
Experimentally, you do it
and then the crack of lightning,
the open-ended snowflake, splits the sky.
Just as the sculptor cut the fat off space,
you going backwards renders time.
Seconds drop like filings
when a magnet is turned off.
Praise for Zero Kelvin
“All at once the elements collapse and expand, become inseparable and remote, beautiful and terrifying – this is what Richard Norman’s poems do to us. We feel stars, those tiny suns, as words blazing through the page; like dust or sand they leave a residue in our thoughts, worlds deep, so we might inadvertently carry them to work, or to the bed of a lover. Here is where language consumes us, absolute and intangible, between reality and myth.” —Leigh Kotsildis, author of Hypotheticals
“Weighty with metaphor.”—The Telegraph-Journal