NPR logo

Sending Poetry To Mars

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/211025042/211029297" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Sending Poetry To Mars

Space

Sending Poetry To Mars

Sending Poetry To Mars

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/211025042/211029297" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Poets from around the globe have been sending Haikus to a group of scientists in hopes their verse may make it to the planet Mars. Host Rachel Martin has the story.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, to a story I'll do entirely in haiku, so bear with me. And just in case you need a primmer: just three lines of verse. Syllables are what counts here - five, seven, then five. For the last few months, scientists have collected haikus meant for Mars. Thousands of poets, pros and amateurs alike, submitted their work. The public then picked their favorite Mars haikus. We are fans of these, by Anonymous.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Reading) Mars, oh. Do forgive. We never meant to obstruct Your view of Venus.

MARTIN: By American Poet Vanna Bonta:

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Reading) Thirty-six million miles of whispering welcome. Mars, you called us home.

MARTIN: And the overall winner penned by Benedict Smith:

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: It's funny, they named Mars after the God of War Have a look at Earth.

MARTIN: Those three poems and more than 1,100 others really will be on their way to Mars in November, packed tightly into NASA's Maven spacecraft. Once they get to the red planet, they surely will bemoan that obstructed view of Venus. The poems and the probe will orbit Mars as the less literary cargo is put to work collecting data about the Martian atmosphere.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.