Detached Thought #100

“The Night is also a religious concern—and even more so—when I viewed the Moon and Stars through Herschell’s telescope—and saw that they were worlds.—”

— Lord Byron, from Detached Thoughts, Pisa c. October 1821.

These few words, jotted down for no-one other than the author himself, seem far more tender and thoughtful than any of the bombast or high camp of Byron’s public poetry. Here we see perhaps more concisely than ever the Romantic notion of the isolated, striving self in the context of the vast universe and can wonder at moments of such fleeting beauty, as when we glance up to see the winking of a star.

Detached Thought #100 was written for Trio Atem and was given its first performance at a lunchtime concert during the University of Manchester’s Interdisciplinary Byron Conference on December 5 2008.