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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

Sublunary Sonnets for a Dark College Night

— The environment of a residential college offers a wealth of opportunities for teaching with-out the curriculuma favorite theme here at the Collegiate Way. As the round full moon vanishes this evening across much of the western hemisphere will you be out on the lawn or the roof of your college with your students, feeding them sublunary sonnets from Thomas Hardy?

At a Lunar Eclipse

Thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea,
Now steals along upon the Moon’s meek shine
In even monochrome and curving line
Of imperturbable serenity.

How shall I link such sun-cast symmetry
With the torn troubled form I know as thine,
That profile, placid as a brow divine,
With continents of moil and misery?

And can immense Mortality but throw
So small a shade, and Heaven’s high human scheme
Be hemmed within the coasts yon arc implies?

Is such the stellar gauge of earthly show,
Nation at war with nation, brains that teem,
Heroes, and women fairer than the skies?

[2003 lunar eclipse]

The stellar gauge of earthly show. Photo by RJO, 8 November 2003.

[2008 lunar eclipse]

Update: The small shade of immense Mortality, as it appeared tonight. Photo by Adrian Wyld (Associated Press).

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2016