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Poem to Yorkshire’s dark skies released ahead of the 100+ events at this year’s Festival

An ode to the Yorkshire’s night sky has been released as more events are added to the county’s largest celebration of all-things-celestial.

The week-long Dark Skies Festival happens in four weeks’ time to coincide with half term (Saturday 18 to Sunday 26 February). It will see over 100 events being held across 21 different locations within the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales National Parks.

Dark Skies Festival

Renowned poet Ian McMillan was commissioned by both National Park Authorities to write a tribute to the beauty of Yorkshire’s night skies.

The Bard of Barnsley’s new verse entitled: ‘The Darker The Sky’ is seen in full below:

‘The Darker The Sky’

A poem for the National Parks and their Dark Skies Festival
In praise of darker skies and lighter thinking

The darker the sky, the more you can see;
The blacker the night, the brighter the Moon,
The dimmer the streets, the stronger the glow
The deeper the shade, the lighter the view.

The map of the heavens, the time and the space
The distance they travel, the cities of stars,
The trail of a comet, the satellite’s stroll
The football of Venus, the beach ball of Mars.

The blindness of headlights, the dazzling fire
The hint of a sunrise, the dawn’s subtle kiss,
The straining of tired eyes, the lamp in the face
The struggle to notice, the sights we all miss.

The hope for the future: the sky’s welcome gleam,
The Milky Way’s jewels, the meteor’s trail,
The old constellations, the space-station’s glint.
The inky sea’s waiting; the night boat sets sail!

© Ian McMillan @IMcMillan

Information and booking details for the packed programme of events at the Dark Skies Festival can be found on


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