Big Screen Poems

Solaris(1972)
––Andrei Tarkovsky

L e v i t a t i o n
(“30 Seconds of Weightlessness”)
Far from Earth,
                                                a space station hovers
                                                      above a highly
                                              intelligent sea. A moment
                  of weightlessness arrives.
                                                            Objects
                                       from the man’s memory paradigms:
                                                  a candelabrum glides
                                  into a chandelier, metal and crystal clink
                                                 and tingle, wicks burn
               unhindered.
                            An open copy of Don Quixote drifts past center:
                    “Sleep makes the shepherd
                             equal to the king.
                       The one fault . . . it looks
                                   like death.”
                                            Side by side the lovers rise,
                                       holding hands while twisting past
                     The Hunters in the Snow:
a 16th century winter, three huntsman followed
by their weary dogs; one man carries a meager fox.
                        For thirty weightless seconds the couple transcends
                             the confines of orbital life.     Gravity restored,
                                     their unity brief, the woman returns
                                          as an unanswered question
                                                    from his past
                                                    a child alone
                                     in the snow, burns twigs in a fire
                                 the alien ocean observes and studies.
––John David West

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