The poem develops around the contrast between two different kinds of "stars" (and, no, not the Hollywood kind). The astronomer's "stars" are abstract ideas that can be reduced to numbers and charts. They reside in a noisy, crowded lecture-room. The real stars, on the other hand, reside in the infinite night sky. They give you that swooning, dizzy feeling in the pit of your stomach. When the speaker goes outside to look at them, he feels a spiritual unity with the night.