Steve Whittaker of the Yorkshire post reviewed ‘Sun, Earth and Moon scale model
(Oxford Natural History Museum)’
The narrator of Glyn Edwards’ fine poem is present and entirely absorbed, as a teacher or guide directs the traffic of scientific discourse into the unbounded realm of the imagination, like a shaman. And he is also present in memory, for the teacher is a figure for the kind of guide who once transformed lives in ways that sustain in psychological perpetuity.
The repeated mantra of Edwards’ words – his call for the reader to look, to watch and to imagine – encourages a sense of immediacy, of heightened reception, and of belief in the scale of a universe vouchsafed, here, in inanimate microcosm.
The great gift of good teachers is a capacity to enthral, and it is clear that Edwards’ poem is an elegy for the loss of a power so monumental as to shake the tree of discovery for those in embryonic haste. Measuring his septets in gradual revelations, the poet builds a cosmos of steroidal scale, fires his charges in three-dimensional dramas of paleontology and astrophysics, and opens the roof of the Natural History Museum to the ‘gilded ball’ of the sun and the ‘nine zeros’ of a trajectory without limit.
The act of ‘transposing’ time into distance, of trying to make intelligible the immensity of the universe, is a transfiguring alchemy, yielding an acceptance, in the end, of our paucity of knowledge, and of the smallness of our ‘pinhead’ circling the sun.
The full article and poem can be found here: