Grand Central Terminal in New York City is perhaps best known for the cerulean blue and gold astronomical mural that graces the majestic, vaulted ceiling of the Main Concourse.
The terminal opened on Feb. 2, 1913. In honor of its centennial the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) commissioned Billy Collins, former poet laureate of the United States, to write a tribute.
The mystery of the human relationship to the cosmos is evoked in his poem.
The city orbits around eight million
centers of the universe
and turns around the golden clock
at the still point of this place.
Lift up your eyes from the moving
and you will see time circling
under a vault of stars and know
just when and where you are.
Poetry in Motion, a program of the MTA, has placed this poem in subway trains for riders to contemplate.
Living so close to Grand Central, we might take for granted this place that is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. A schedule of upcoming centennial events adds to the lure of visiting the terminal.
Billy Collins, among other poets and musicians, will be featured on April 10.
For details, go to www.grand
The celestial mural's classically rendered constellations, recently restored with their brightest stars lit by fiber optics, inspire awe in the viewer.
Imagine how perplexed this stargazer was to notice that the designer reversed the order of the constellations! Find Taurus to the left of Orion with The Twins and Cancer on his right.
Outdoors, planet Mercury makes its best appearance tomorrow low in the west-southwest half an hour after sunset.
To contact Judy Isacoff go to www.naturesturn.org