Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Martian Poetry by Frank Herbert

Best known for his six-book Dune saga, Frank Herbert also wrote an obscure poem entitled
Carthage: Reflections of a Martian,” which was published first in the anthology Mars, We Love You: Tales of Mars, Men and Martians (1971) and later in Songs of Muad’Dib: The Poetry of Frank Herbert (1992).

Here are the first three stanza’s of Herbert's "Carthage: Reflections of a Martian,” which totals about 450 lines:

Thy expected alien
Am I.
Weird of shade
And doomfire face:
All thy senses
Cry to my
Mourning mysteries
Which yesterday
Were commonplace.

We sit at Sunday breakfast
And I smell the dust of Carthage.
It drowns the spang
Of our automatic toaster.

That strange woman across from me
Smiles, butters two slices.
Her smile arouses a multitude in me!
Her smile ...
Frightens us.

For the full text of "Carthage: Reflections of a Martian,” and the full text of the editor’s introduction to it from Mars, We Love You: Tales of Mars, Men and Martians, check out, a website devoted to Frank Herbert.

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