Letter to First Poet on Mars

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Daily Deviation
Daily Deviation
May 14, 2011
An all-around enjoyable read, Letter to First Poet on Mars by ~TheHungerArtist doesn't waste words. It takes us to a foreign world and leaves us with a message that's relevant our own.
Featured by nycterent
Suggested by wavesandbreakers88

Literature Text

Letter to the first poet on Mars

Do not say "red".
Avoid mention of Ares.
In fact, don't wax classical
at all.
Keep it simple.
Don't drink the water.
There isn't any.
Say there is.
Exaggerate the prospects
for terraforming.
Tell us the weather is nice.
Or, that it will be.
Wish we were there.
Tell us so.
Invent a new word
for red.
Write it.
Make a circle.
Better yet
construct a sphere.
Create a word for gravity
and place it at the center.
Empty the sky of stars.
Give us a proper beginning.
Write: "I've reached the summit
of Olympus Mons,"
and, "from this sacred height,
I can see beyond Tharsis
a world without gods
who deal in war."

Although only a few lines have been changed,
I think I've stumbled upon a better heart for this poem.

Though it is still open for revision, of course, I think
its heading in a productive direction.

Preview courtesy of archlungs.

A different version of this poem appeared in the poetry journal, Mimesis #1 (now defunct, I think), which was edited by DA's very own PoeticWar [link] who I'm sure may be missed around here.


If you liked this, then you may find my Dream Job [link] poem of interest. Red rocks!
© 2004 - 2021 TheHungerArtist
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jagrier's avatar
This piece is now in an art feature honoring the MSL Curiosity Rover - If you like it, please comment on the feature! [link]
TheHungerArtist's avatar
Thank you. Glad to play a part.
Hi, we'd like to reprint your poem in a new zine [link] , whose first issue will appear at the end of June. The theme for the whole issue is war and we feel this poem will be a great match. Please, let us know if we have your permission.
TheHungerArtist's avatar
Sure. Your "trial" zine looks great.

Though, it looks like it is more gaming oriented than "literary." Would you be interested in some gaming poems?

Let me know if you need bio info or anything else.
Thank you, that is much appreciated. The zine is indeed orientated towards gamers, but we are keen to explore gaming's links to the older, better established art forms.

The idea of gaming poems sounds like a brilliant one. Where can one find them? Also, where can people read more of your stuff?

Would you prefer to be credited as TheHungerArtist or with your real name?

Echo-S's avatar
cogongrass's avatar
I loved this poem. The terse lines, as many people have said, are so effective--I like especially the way it comes off as both demanding (almost aggressive) and playful. It's a bit indicative of the poem in general--and maybe, too, the language that we've "given" to the planet--simultaneously hostile and romantic. Cool, clean, and clever.
TheHungerArtist's avatar
If I wanted you to write about each of my poems in a similar fashion, how should I go about payment? A flat rate or on a per poem basis?

Thank you very much for your kind words and your brief but compelling analysis.
cogongrass's avatar
Depends on whether or not you're offering payment upfront. If yes, flat rate will do nicely. Otherwise, definitely per poem.

(My pleasure. I really loved this one, and look forward to hitting up the rest of your gallery sometime in the next few days.)
CloudsNmyCoffee's avatar
Beautiful...Simply beautiful.
TheHungerArtist's avatar
W0rdkeeper's avatar
Really cool poem. I really like the beginning. I just realized Mars and Ares are the same person, so the second line made sense to me now :D
TheHungerArtist's avatar
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it/made sense out of it.
ASVOD's avatar
I'm no kind of poet, and I've no idea what makes a poem great, but I like this. I think that you deserve the DD, and am glad that you got the exposure. Congratulations!
TheHungerArtist's avatar
I'm not sure what kind of poet I am either, but I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for your kind words.
ZetaMale's avatar
This is the first poem on DA that I actually liked.
TheHungerArtist's avatar
Glad to hear it. (I empathize, as well; don't tell the others.)
yorkey-sa's avatar
Very nice sir (mam?)
TheHungerArtist's avatar
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