How Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Sylvia Plath and others were inspired by this midnight muse.
Forty-five years ago, the world hushed at a vision of the moon never seen before – men in space suits treading the familiar face that had met our gaze throughout human history. And still, writers, playwrights and poets are drawn to our nightly neighbor just as it pulls the oceans’ tides, day in, day out.
Author: Sheena McKenzie, Producer: Mark Tutton, Design: Nural Choudhury, Development: Nav Garcha, Illustration: Julián De Narvaéz
I lift my head and gaze at the
August Moon, I lower my head and think of my hometown
In Chinese poet Tu Fu’s 8th-century work “Full Moon,” he describes an uninterrupted beam of light shining across the landscape:
“Above the tower — a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless gold across the waves.
On mats, it shines richer than silken gauze.
Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden … All light,
All 10,000 miles at once in its light!” – Tu Fu, “Full Moon,” 8th century.