Poem: Nebra Sky Disc
September 1, 2015
Here is a poem by Cornish poet and dramatist Alan M. Kent about the Nebra Sky Disc which caused much scientific speculation on its discovery in 1999. The object itself dates as far back to 1600 BC.
Read on below to see how Alan Kent identifies and situates the object with Cornwall.
Hard to see
any religious significance,
or even judge it
as an astronomical instrument.
Standing here at Nebra,
you sit more like a child’s toy:
a blue and gold shield,
dented by a wooden sword’s sturdy hits.
you are a face:
one eye wide open;
the other winking,
above a smiley mouth,
like some drug-fuelled memory of Acid House.
You could be
the colour of the sea at Porthcurno,
your bronze the dredges of the ocean,
left at Pedn Vounder at low tide.
Your crescent moon is the Logan rockng.
I like this object’s edges:
the feel of elephant’s feet,
or even the crimped edge of a pasty,
where metal is tucked behind metal,
for decoration and whimsy.
You are small:
30cm in diameter,
but what you depict is vast.
You tell a story told nowhere else
in ancient art.
These are the heavens:
sun and moon, a lunar crescent,
and the Pleiades
nestled into a blue-green patina.
understood that we revolve around the sun –
and had you made 1600 years
before the birth of Christ.
Old magic then.
In trekking to Germany though,
I do nothing special.
Its mystery would be enough
and yet, we know a little more.
The gold that shimmers
was direct from Helston’s River Cober.
They are pieces of hal-an-tow.
This tin too,
from my interim nation.
They are Stannary and spall.
I grasp at the journeys:
the distances, the providences,
Who were the hands that picked up the nuggets?
Who traded ingots at Ictis?
These questions bite
the same way
the heavens intrigued its maker.
must have made him feel incomplete:
Knowing only a little,
and wanting more.
Now, as I view this disc,
at an exhibtion:
Der geschmiedete Himmel,
such knowledge of the ‘smithied’ sky’
can make my land complete.
Dr Alan M. Kent
Dr Alan Kent is a writer, poet, dramatist, teacher and academic. He enjoys writing Cornish and Anglo-Cornish literature.