Louis Esterhuizen. Mars toe en terug in sewentien lettergrepe

 

Soos ons almal weet, het die astronomiese ontwikkeling in moderne tegnologie tot gevolg dat selfs Mars deesdae net ‘n haikoe ver is … En nou, volgens ‘n berig by Poetry Foundation, het NASA besluit om dié beginsel sommer baie letterlik te demonstreer: “NASA is inviting poets and space-afficionados to pen their best haiku to celebrate the voyage of MAVEN: a spacecraft that will leave Earth in November to study the Martian atmosphere. Managers of the MAVEN-voyage began accepting haiku submissions on May 1 and they will continue to accept haiku submissions until July 15th. From July 15th to July 29th, NASA will allow the public to vote for its favorite three submissions. On August 8th, NASA will announce the three haiku that garnered the most votes. NASA plans to display all three poems on the MAVEN website—and to give the poems three spots aboard the MAVEN spacecraft, which will launch in November.”

Nou ja, toe, julle haikoemane: laat waai met die tel van lettergrepe en versreëls …

Vir meer besonderhede kan jy intussen by NASA se webblad gaan koekeloer.

As leestoegif volg ‘n toepaslike gedig.

*

A Martian Sends a Postcard Home

Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
and some are treasured for their markings–

they cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain.

I have never seen one fly, but
sometimes they perch on the hand.

Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
and rests its soft machine on the ground:

then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.

Rain is when the earth is television.
It has the properites of making colours darker.

Model T is a room with the lock inside —
a key is turned to free the world

for movement, so quick there is a film
to watch for anything missed.

But time is tied to the wrist
or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.

In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
that snores when you pick it up.

If the ghost cries, they carry it
to their lips and soothe it to sleep

with sounds. And yet, they wake it up
deliberately, by tickling with a finger.

Only the young are allowed to suffer
openly. Adults go to a punishment room

with water but nothing to eat.
They lock the door and suffer the noises

alone. No one is exempt
and everyone’s pain has a different smell.

At night, when all the colours die,
they hide in pairs

and read about themselves —
in colour, with their eyelids shut.

 

© Craig Raine (1979)

 

 

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