The Constancy of Stars

When I was seven years old, my parents and I moved from our small house in Lemont, Pennsylvania, just outside of State College, and into State College itself, to a house on a street called Old Boalsburg Road. For the first time in my life we lived on a street with sidewalks, so my dad would often take me on walks around the neighborhood after he got home from work.

In the winter, with night falling early, his work day ended at dusk, so we could only walk after dark. That’s when he would point out the constellations to me in the cold, frosty air. His favorite, and so my favorite too, was Orion.

When we moved to Maryland two years later, and everything seemed new and strange, it was odd and comforting to see Orion in its same place that winter, completely unchanged, although so much else in my life was different.

And now, over 30 years later, with just about everything different from the way it was when I was a kiddo holding my dad’s hand, listening to his stories as we looked up at the sky, I still find great comfort in the constancy of the stars…especially when Orion rises up over the trees in the winter night, still hunting.

So I think the reason why one of my favorite poems is “Winter Stars,” by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), will become clear very quickly. Here, for what it’s worth, is my reading of it:

Although very popular in her time, Teasdale’s work is often unjustly overlooked today, and she deserves more recognition. Ray Bradbury used her most famous poem, “There Will Come Soft Rains,” in his haunting short story of the same name. I highly recommend her collected works, which can be found here.

Thank you for all the emails and tweets about my previous post, and for the unexpected but very welcome poetry recommendations! I’m enjoying them, and I’ll try to use some in the future. I’m also going to continue to post these readings once or twice a week, until things calm down a bit and some normalcy returns…or until enough people tell me to shut up.

In the meantime, take care and stay well.

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1 Response to The Constancy of Stars

  1. Gary Miller says:

    This is wonderful. This winter, when Mom was still unable to take care of the dogs, I would take them out, and every evening I would look for Orion. It was comforting—it always is—to see it. It gives me a sense of belonging that is comforting in hard times.



    ……………….. Gary E. Miller 540 E. Irvin Ave. State College, PA 16801 Tel: 814-237-9203 Cell: 814-883-3442 Blog: Open Books:


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