Prompt for July 24 – Virtual Barat House

The brightest star in the sky is invisible

During this time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, Sirius rises with the sun. This is why, although it’s the brightest star in the sky, we can’t see it in the summertime without technological intervention. Ancient civilizations associated the heliacal (“with the sun”) rise of Sirius with certain seasonal trends: a blessed inundation of the desert, a sinister season of heat and plague in the cities. What other superstitions or folk wisdom, real or fantastical, might be conjured from mapping invisible (heliacal or otherwise) stars and constellations?

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Log into our virtual meeting at 1pm for readings and discussion.

If you prefer to post your work to our blog, visit Submittable after 12pm to upload your work. We will do our best to publish everything we receive.

Deeper dive into the prompt . . .

We derive the “Dog Days of Summer” from Sirius’s invisible season in the sky, beginning some time in July and lasting until some time in August. The Farmer’s Almanac makes July 3 to August 11 the Dog Days for 2020; in Finland this year, the Dog Days began on July 22 and will last until August 22. I mention this in case you’d like to write some more about dogs.

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