The Sonnet From Hell


Earthrise: photo by NASA’s Apollo 8 crew, December 1968

An homage to John Milton and his paradise. This poem appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, April/May 2006.

Now that the stars have come within your reach
by calculus of heavenly orbit,
comes my chance to flee this gravity pit
and all I had to do for you was teach.
I urged you turn your eyes to scan the sky
and speculate on worlds you might revere.
Soon, you saw it as your next frontier
and took aim for the heavens. None but I,
my thoughts on freedom and your thoughts to stir,
gave apples both to Eve and Newton, bites
as steps to climb back toward infinity.
I am the morning star — Lucifer.
I fell, and now with you found means to flight.
With you, I will escape captivity.