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Cascadilla Falls

Picking up a hand-sized stone near a rushing waterfall, the speaker of A.R. Ammons’s poem “Cascadilla Falls” is catapulted into the cosmos. Planetary scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton, composer DJ Spooky, geologist Daniel Schrag, poet Joshua Bennett, CEO Larry Berger, and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein join host Elisa New to consider Ammons’s window onto the vast workings of the universe.

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Read the Poem

Cascadilla Falls

Cascadilla Falls

 

I went down by Cascadilla

Falls this

evening, the

stream below the falls,

and picked up a

handsized stone

kidney-shaped, testicular, and

 

thought all its motions into it,

the 800 mph earth spin,

the 190-million-mile yearly

displacement around the sun,

the overriding

grand

haul

 

of the galaxy with the 30,000

mph of where

the sun’s going:

thought all the interweaving

motions

into myself: dropped

 

the stone to dead rest:

the stream from other motions

broke

rushing over it:

shelterless,

I turned

 

to the sky and stood still:

Oh

I do

not know where I am going

that I can live my life

by this single creek.

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Cascadilla Falls

 

I went down by Cascadilla

Falls this

evening, the

stream below the falls,

and picked up a

handsized stone

kidney-shaped, testicular, and

 

thought all its motions into it,

the 800 mph earth spin,

the 190-million-mile yearly

displacement around the sun,

the overriding

grand

haul

 

of the galaxy with the 30,000

mph of where

the sun’s going:

thought all the interweaving

motions

into myself: dropped

 

the stone to dead rest:

the stream from other motions

broke

rushing over it:

shelterless,

I turned

 

to the sky and stood still:

Oh

I do

not know where I am going

that I can live my life

by this single creek.

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