Hypæthral, also spelled hypethral, pronounced with the stress on the second syllable, like “hi-pee-thral,” means ‘roofless; open to the sky; exposed to the heavens’ – and, in noun form, ‘someone who lives in the open air’. The hyp is the same as hypo, from Greek ὑπό meaning ‘below’ and related things (a hypodermic needle is one that goes below the skin; hypothermia is having below-normal body heat); the æthr is the same as the source of ether, Greek αἰθήρ ‘air’.

Here’s a poem.


The open sky is my anodyne, 
the aether is my ether.
In my box of clouds and leaves
and on my ground-grass bed,
I lie for staring stars to see,
no lid concealing me.
From the broad blue field of planes,
a glowing hole pours heat
in my box of clouds and leaves
for colder days to come.
In dark the shining needle points
expose worlds without end.
When the earth calls home its sweat,
It pelts me or I hide
to be asperged by gathering boughs.
And in the diamond times,
when soft is hard and dry is wet,
the human heat steams off
in my box of clouds and leaves
me spent and shivering.
I turn, and turn, and turn, and turn,
but never see me in
the mirror of eternity,
the stern and sheltering sky,
the mothering and murdering
anaesthetizing heaven.

2 responses to “hypaethral

    • Yes—sorry, perhaps I should have said so. If I quote a poem not of my own writing, I make sure to say who it’s by (and I won’t quote the whole thing).

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