William H. Gass


    Some pre-Socratic philosophers conceived the cosmos as contained in a ring of fire, so that there were no stars like bright stones sparkling in the sky; rather, night’s dark sphere was colandered with holes through which the outer fire showed, and our spangled sky was illusory. Illusory or not, those holes through which radiance streamed formed constellations; meaning ran from point to point in every watching eye; and then the shapes assumed the features of Perseus and Orion, reflecting heroic lives alleged to have been lived here on our own fair fields. From windows of illumination through