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"I come here when I fear my soul/has fled forever," says the speaker in Appearances, about a place where land, water, and sky converge. In poems that take their shape from daily walks around a teeming harbor, Michael Collins meditates on nature, though not nature as "some place you visit/some museum to nostalgia through," but as a place of meeting and confrontation between nature and civilization, art and subject, consciousness and the unconscious, life and death. The poems in this sequence render images offered by both the human and natural worlds, even as the speaker knows that he "can't reason these worlds/back together."

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Michael Collins

(2) Astronaut Michael Collins is a former American astronaut and test pilot. Selected as part of the third group of fourteen astronauts in 1963, he flew in space twice. His first spaceflight was Gemini 10, in which he and command pilot John Young performed two rendezvous with different spacecraft and Collins undertook two EVAs. His second spaceflight was as the command module pilot for Apollo 11. While he orbited the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first manned landing on the lunar surface.

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