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.