Maddox, James Mitchell
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Poetry and astronomy seem to be very different in how they describe the world and our experience of it. But they are not in opposition. This paper explores those two discourses as aspects of a Cartesian dualism that historically dominates much of Western thinking, namely, the difference between the “physical” and the “metaphysical” and how theism has reinforced the distinction between the two. Over the last few centuries, advancements in astronomy changed the way we see ourselves in the world, and we can see those changes in poetry. This paper looks at how those two discourses co-evolved, and, in doing so, it reconsiders the “canon” of English-language literature from an interdisciplinary, “systems” approach.