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Hello, this is Björn, filling in doing Poetics for the first time, and today I would like us to be inspired by the spekulative, the future or maybe even the dystopic. Author have always been inspired by the future – and sometimes also the poets. I have chosen to call this science fiction. Science fiction in poetry is a genre that goes back much further than this century. Consider for instance this passage:

For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained a ghastly dew
From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue;
Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging through the thunder-storm;
Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle-flags were furled
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world

(Lord Tennyson, Locksley Hall, 1842)

Could almost have been a passage from Asimov, don’t you think?

Illuistration by Henri the Montaut - picture from Wikimedia Commons

Illuistration by Henri the Montaut – picture from Wikimedia Commons

Remember Jules Verne, and his tale about a trip around the moon. Certainly there are some food for poetry in those dreams. Or the dystopies of George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, though placed on earth still evoked plenty of speculative elements.

Myself I was exposed early to Sci-Fi poetry through the epic poem “Aniara” by Harry Martinsson. It describes the escape of people from an earth destroyed by radiation. Being lost in space they know the will live a normal life but just drifting through space forever lost to our solar system. How the crew and emigrants handled it with cults popping up and especially the powerful Mima that run the ship and provide consolation to the poeple on the ship. Many innovative words for nonexistent things were introuduces in this epic poetry, but of course based on the science known in the 1950’s. I know it has been translated to English (twice) but the spread has not been that big.

There are many themes to explore in this speculative kind of poetry. Think technology terms, the loneliness in the vast space and maybe a little social criticism and I’m sure we can get some great poetry today. This is all about your fantasy.
Maybe we can bring everyday scenes like deceit, love and why not cafeteria scenes into the space and future. I choose to give a hint of this theme on this Tuesday’s OLN.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons

Picture from Wikimedia Commons

How space was lost

on silver sails, we set our hope
in ships that gravity eloped
we left a planet in despair
from death on earth we did forswear
away, away in rapid pace

alone in space it’s hard to cope
for mutiny we used the rope
we couldn’t have lament and tears
on silver sails

Now left alone I live on dope
I see the heartbeats on my scope
and count the stars within my prayer
for death I have no longer fear
my coffin disappears in smoke
on silver sails

So boldly let us go and meet in space – today the bar is manned by aliens and androids and we are ready to go.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

  • Write a poem and post it to your webpage.
  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below
  • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join
  • Read and comment on other poet’s work, we all go here to have our poems read
  • Promote your site and poetry you like on social media of your choice

And not least have fun and smile 🙂