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The Fall of Stars

Spring is finally here, and everyone’s looking forward to those warm, sunny days. Personally, I look forward to going out at night to see the stars, which attracted me to Jennifer Liu’s “Lament for the Stars.” Her poem sheds light on astounding imagery as Liu writes about the fading of stars that have reached the earth and “who couldn’t make it.”

Liu’s poem sets the scene beautifully: A moon shines brightly on stars that have fallen on earth, “creating/ white blankets in the blackness.” Once they touch the ground, the stars die and “whimper/under crushing boots, /becoming casualties in the imprints.” Because Liu describes the fall of these stars so vividly, readers can interpret her poem as an actual scene. On the other hand, readers might also consider equating the stars to humanity, for lives and hopes thrive and are crushed every day. Sometimes we are left alone to disintegrate in the dark or in the streets, no matter how glorious or bright we once were. However, we do not completely go in vain, for we are made into “imprints” or have left some sliver of ourselves into this world, regardless if we made earthquakes or mere whimpers.

Whether or not one takes “Lament for the Stars” literally or figuratively, there is no denying that this poem, especially the last stanza, exposes a mournful truth about what each life experiences upon their demise. Liu masterfully presents the ends of these stars, which still cling onto their light even after their lives flicker out.

 

Don’t just take my word on “Lament for the Stars.” Here is the excerpt from Obscura’s 3rd Volume:

 

Jennifer Liu

 

Lament for the Stars

 

A solemn moon

illuminates the still darkness

lighting a path for the stars

who couldn’t make it,

and fall to earth, creating

white blankets in the blackness.

 

The grounded stars flicker

with their remaining strength,

the last drops of life

fading, melting slowly

into the sidewalks and streets.

 

Crunch,

they whimper under crushing boots,

becoming casualties in the imprints

as the wind howls a painful requiem

for the stars’ final moments.

 

Then, mournful silence

marks the end.

 

Once glorious fallen stars

reduced to broken snow

now beg for resurrection,

as the moon drenches them

in its grieving light.

 

(Obscura Vol. 3, 2012, p.49)

 

-Kejana Ayala

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