Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Duet on Mars, a poem by John Updike (1932-2009)

Duet on Mars
by John Updike

Said Spirit to Opportunity,
   “I’m feeling rather frail,
With too much in my memory,
   Plus barrels of e-mail.”
Responded Opportunity,
   “My bounce was not so bad,
But now they send me out to see
   These dreary rocks, bedad!”
“It’s cold up here, and rather red,”
   Sighed Spirit. “I feel faint.”
Good Opportunity then said,
   “Crawl on, without complaint!
“This planet needs our shovels’ bite
   And treadmarks in the dust
To tell if life and hematite
   Pervade its arid crust.”
“There’s life, by all the stars above,
   On Mars—it’s you and I!”
Blithe Spirit cried. “Let’s rove, my love,
   And meet before we die!"

Published in the March 1, 2004, issue of The New Yorker.

1 comment:

MtnKat said...

This "Spirit" and "Opportunity" poem seem to symbolize the new "Obama Era" in that he is offering to all Americans a new Opportunity to lift up our Spirit and do some wonderous things (education, science, energy, etc.) -- perhaps go to Mars, as the poem literally suggests -- or, more figuratively, "open the door that Opportunity is knocking at" and make something wonderful out of our lives "before we die."