I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
It’s actually a quote from poet Sarah Williams’ The Old Astronomer to His Pupil. But the imagery it provokes when you see Galileo’s name is undeniable.
Sorry, Sarah, I’ll pretend I didn’t learn that.
As quotes get older and more popular their origin is mistaken for another author. Although it may seem more fitting for the fauxriginator, I find it can be more thought provoking to know the true author and his or her motivations.
Williams’ poem isn’t nearly as well known as Galileo’s gifts to the astronomy world, but I wanted to delve into its value regardless.
It’s simply a poem recapping an experience between teacher and student, and although that may not seem like much, it’s something we’ve all endured. Whether it was the loss of a parent, friend, or loved one, this poem propagates acceptance of sadness, grief, or dark times. The astronomer feels strongly about the oncoming darkness because he’s lived a life so bright. That approach is far more dazzling than any other that I’ve heard.
It’s those interesting origins that make me more excited to understand the world of quotes and authors—I can fall in love with the phrase all over again because it evokes meanings I’d never dreamt of.
The exploratory process in original authors is different per piece, but it doesn’t stop my curiosity. I’ve become more in-tune with these phrases because I am able to see both sides of the coin. What is attributed to one author suggests awe, while to another it suggests acceptance. Two timeless messages rolled into one.
Are there any fauxriginators that you’re okay with? Or would you rather, like me, find the truth and revel in both meanings?