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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Stephen Crane: "I saw a man pursuing the horizon..."



View of Earth's horizon as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean as seen from International Space Station (ISS); anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible: photo by NASA Expedition 7 crew member, 21 July 2003 (NASA)

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said,
"You can never -- "

"You lie," he cried,

And ran on.

File:Sts114 033.jpg

Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson, STS-114 mission specialist, anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station’s Canadarm2, participates in the mission’s third session of extravehicular activity (EVA); the blackness of space and Earth’s horizon form the backdrop for the image: photo by NASA, 3 August 2005 (NASA)

File:Ed White in space - GPN-2006-000032.jpg

Astronaut Edward H. White II, pilot of the Gemini-Titan 4 flight, floats in space while performing America's first spacewalk on June 3, 1965. White spent 23 minutes maneuvering around his spacecraft as Jim McDivitt remained inside the spacecraft. White is attached to the spacecraft by a 25-ft. umbilical line and a 23-ft. tether line, both wrapped in gold tape to form one cord. In his right hand White carries a Hand-Held Self Maneuvering Unit (HHSMU), which he used to help move him around the weightless environment of space. The visor of his helmet is gold plated to protect him from the unfiltered rays of the sun:
photo by NASA, 3 June 1965 (NASA)

Stephen Crane: "I saw a man pursuing the horizon...", from The Black Riders and Other Lines, 1895


gamefaced said...

sanity standstill.

TC said...

plus a double half-insanity handstand.

aditya said...

'A spacious horizon is an image of liberty'.

On this city's horizon the towers are fingers curled in the distance.. like fingers of a loosely held fist. The sky is terribly gray and when you are attentive you feel you have been living under an ashtray, inverted ofcourse.

TC said...

And on top of that inverted ashtray, an astronaut is speeding round and round, in pursuit of the grey horizon.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

It seems it is but a small step from the realities of the weightless and soundless qualities of space to the "mystical" experience of timelessness. Been talking to a friend who has been in a protracted period of bliss or timelessness or love, whatever one calls it, and, for anyone who has ever experienced it, even for the briefest of moments, they know it is visceral, one of its aspects is truly physical and these pictures (and, I imagine, this experience) evoke that.

To say it is futile is, indeed, a lie.

TC said...


Maybe what the speaker was going to say, were he allowed to finish his sentence, would be something along the lines of what you have just said.

(And "he" just didn't have the time to wait around to hear it?)