you'll be beautiful in my manner

John Adams Whipple, View of the Moon, Feb 26, 1852 (Daguerreotype )


The Moon’s Favors

Meanwhile, in the expansiveness of her joy,
the Moon filled all of the room like a phosphoric atmosphere,
like a luminous poison; and all of that living light thought and said:
“You will be eternally subject to the influence of my kiss.
You will be beautiful in my manner.
You will love what I love and who loves me:
water, the clouds, silence, and the night; the immense, green sea;
formless and multiform water; the place where you will not be;
the lover you will not know; monstrous flowers;
perfumes that make you delirious; cats who swoon on pianos,
and who moan like women, with a hoarse, gentle voice!

Charles Baudelaire


Galileo Galilei
Sidereus Nuncius Magna, Longeque Admirabilia Spectacula Pandens,
Suspiciendaque Proponens Unicuique
[The great starry messenger], 1610

William Blake, The Gates of Paradise, 1825

Animation short by Shulamit Serfaty (Hebrow with english subs)

Transparent medusas rose to the sea's surface, throbbed there a moment, then flew off, swaying toward the Moon. Little Xlthlx amused herself by catching them in midair, though it wasn't easy. Once, as she streched her little arms out to catch one, she jumped up slightly and was also set free. Thin as she was, she was an ounce or two short of the weight necessary for the Earth's gravity to overcome the Moon's attraction and bring her back: so she flew up among the medusas, suspended over the sea. She took fright, cried, then laughed and started playing, catching shellfish and minnows as they flew, sticking some into her mouth and chewing them. We rowed hard, to keep up with the child: the Moon ran off in her ellipse, dragging that swarm of marine fauna throught the sky, and a train of long, entwinded seaweeds, and Xlthlx hanging there in the midst. Her two wispy braids seemed to be flying on their own, outstreched toward the Moon; but all the while she kept wriggling and kicking at the air, as if she wanted to fight that influence, and her socks - she had lost her shoes in her flight - slipped off her feet and swayed, attracted by the Earth's force. On the ladder, we tried to grab them.
Excerpt from Italo Calvino, The Distance from the Moon, 1976

John Adams Whipple/James Wallace Black, The Moon, 1857-1860

Photograph of the moon taken by M. Puiseux, Sept. 12, 1903. Moon's age: 19 days.

The sun is shining on a house. He can shine in where he will, for it is but the shell of a house. Any one can look in from outside and see that isis not in fit state to be furnished for the habitation of man. Such a house is the Moon; a house where life can find no place to dwell in. Because the moon is a dead world, a mere world-shell, there is offered no bar to our prying where we will. Where the sun holds the candle to guide us, there we may look. The moon neither assists nor resists. 

from: The heavens and their story (1908) by Annie S.D. (Annie Scot Dill) Maunder, b. 1868
via: archive

Film still from "A Trip to the Moon" (1902, dir. Georges Méliès)

Film stills from "The Impossible Voyage" (1904, dir. Georges Méliès)

What Counsel Has the Hooded Moon

What counsel has the hooded moon
Put in thy heart, my shyly sweet,
Of Love in ancient plenilune,
Glory and stars beneath his feet -- -
A sage that is but kith and kin
With the comedian Capuchin?

Believe me rather that am wise
In disregard of the divine,
A glory kindles in those eyes
Trembles to starlight. Mine, O Mine!
No more be tears in moon or mist
For thee, sweet sentimentalist.

James Joyce



Lunar Eclipse, Saturday, March 3rd 2007

“The painting was created in 1888 by Julius Grimm (1842-1906), a German scientific photographer whose techniques of mapping the surface of the moon became famous when his acclaimed Atlas der Astrophysik was published in 1881. After meeting the Grand Duke Friedrich I von Baden, an astronomy enthusiast, in 1887, Grimm decided to paint a representation of the moon, based on his photographs, to be presented to the Grand Duke. The painting shows the moon as it can never be seen in reality: fully lit across the entire surface at once. The painting’s highly textured surface faithfully represents the actual landscape of the moon, which Grimm determined with precision by examining the shadows cast during the various lunar phases. When lighted from the direction Grimm indicated with a painted arrow, the ridges of paint cast shadows that create the photorealistic effect of the painting.” via EON

During its flight, the Galileo spacecraft returned images of the Moon. The Galileo spacecraft took these images on December 7, 1992 on its way to explore the Jupiter system in 1995-97. The distinct bright ray crater at the bottom of the image is the Tycho impact basin. The dark areas are lava rock filled impact basins: Oceanus Procellarum (on the left), Mare Imbrium (center left), Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquillitatis (center), and Mare Crisium (near the right edge). This picture contains images through the Violet, 756 nm, 968 nm filters. The color is 'enhanced' in the sense that the CCD camera is sensitive to near infrared wavelengths of light beyond human vision. The Galileo project is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. via apod

Snapshot from the surface of the Moon/Apollo 12 Landing Site (click to enlarge) via LPI

Millennium Annular Solar Eclipse Credit & Copyright: Mikael Svalgaard Explanation: The Moon's shadow raced across planet Earth on January 15. Observers within the central shadow track were able to witness an annular solar eclipse as the Moon's apparent size was too small to completely cover the Sun. A visually dramatic ring of fire, the annular phase lasted up to 11 minutes and 8 seconds depending on location, the longest annular solar eclipse for the next 1,000 years. This picture of the Moon's silhouette just before mid-eclipse was taken within the eclipse path from the city of Kanyakumari at the southern tip of India. via apod

Étienne Léopold Trouvelot, 1881

Anonymous, Moon, partially eclipsed. 1912, 1 April, 9:30 pm and 9:50 pm

A Moon or a Button: A Collection of First Picture Ideas by Ruth Krauss and Remy Charlip, 1959

Casey Kaplan, Staircase to the moon, 2008


almost at the equator
almost at the equinox
exactly at midnight
from a ship
the full


in the center of the sky

Gary Snyder - Once Only
Sappa Creek near Singapore
March 1958

Leonid Tishkov, Private Moon (see the whole series here)

To the Rising Full Moon

Wilt thou suddenly enshroud thee,

Who this moment wert so nigh?
Heavy rising masses cloud thee,

Thou art hidden from mine eye.

Yet my sadness thou well knowest,

Gleaming sweetly as a star!
That I'm loved, 'tis thou that showest,

Though my loved one may be far.

Upward mount then! clearer, milder,

Robed in splendour far more bright!
Though my heart with grief throbs wilder,

Fraught with rapture is the night!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1828.


Nicholas Hughes, from the series: In Darkness Visible, Verse I, 2007

Nicholas Hughes, from the series: In Darkness Visible, Verse I, 2007

Edward Steichen Pastoral - Moonlight, 1907, Photogravure

Edward Steichen, Moonlit Landscape, 1903

Sarah Wyman Whitman, A Warm Night, ca.1889


The Moon and her Mother

The Moon once begged her Mother to make her a gown.
"How can I?" replied she; "there's no fitting your figure.
At one time you're a New Moon, and at another you're a
Full Moon; and between whiles you're neither one nor the other."

From: Aesop' Fables, Illustration: Arthur Rackham


Bat Before the Moon by Biho Takashi, circa 1910

Ohara Koson (Shoson), (1877 - 1945),
Monkey Reaching For Reflection Of The Moon, ca. 1910


The monkey is reaching

The monkey is reaching
For the moon in the water.
Until death overtakes him
He'll never give up.
If he'd let go the branch and
Disappear in the deep pool,
The whole world would shine
With dazzling pureness.

Hakuin (1686 - 1768)


Andrew Wyeth, Moon Madness, 1982


Take a moon mysteries and myths quiz.


  1. This is a particularly inspiring post and a wonderful blog in general.

  2. I think this is really your best post,Sofie.And that's saying something since the high level of your posts,I'm going to retweet this right now.I'm so glad you've also quoted Calvino,that is one of my favourite workk of him.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...