Martian Haiku – Ground Control to Major Tom

5 May

Postmodern Donkey tipped me off to a haiku competition called Going to Mars with MAVEN, sponsored by the University of Colorado-Boulder. The word “maven” means “accumulator of knowledge” in Yiddish, but it stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission. The Website explains:

MAVEN will explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind.

MAVEN is scheduled to  launch from Cape Canaveral, Fl.,  Nov. 18 on an Atlas V launch vehicle.  It will arrive at Mars in fall 2014.  After a five-week transition period during which it will get into its final orbit, deploy booms, and check out the science instruments, MAVEN will carry out its one-Earth-year primary mission.  MAVEN will have enough fuel to survive for another six years and will act as a data relay for spacecraft on the surface, as well as continue to take important science data.

The three winners’ poems will be sent to Mars in the MAVEN explorer craft.  Check out the Going to Mars with MAVEN Website for rules and deadlines.

Although I’m not a poet, I couldn’t resist the temptation to play. My entry?

Words escape velocity
Stretching tin cans’ strings

Happy Haiku-ing! Let me know if you enter.

15 Responses to “Martian Haiku – Ground Control to Major Tom”

  1. Carrie Rubin May 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    “The three winners’ poems will be sent to Mars in the MAVEN explorer craft.”—What a cool idea! I wish you luck. Your words may some day be flowing through the universe. 🙂

  2. Laurel Leigh May 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    I have no chance in hell or space of writing a decent haiku. Maybe a sonnet. It will be fun to see which ones go! Good luck!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Oh, go on, you know you want to try! Too bad they don’t allow sonnets. Guess they’ve got quite a bit of “data” to pack onto the DVD that’s going with MAVEN.

  3. Call of the Siren May 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    What a cool form of immortality … to leave something of yourself on the red planet. Thanks for the alert. I hope the judges are good ones!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      Yes, those chosen could then call themselves “interplanetary acclaimed writers.” But the craft would have to leave the Milky Way to give the authors “intergalactic” fame.

      • Call of the Siren May 10, 2013 at 10:10 am #

        it would make one heckuva a blurb on a book jacket “bestselling, intergalactic author.” Even Dan Brown can’t compete with that.

  4. Letizia May 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I like your haiku!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      Thank you! I’m not sure how it will rank among the many more, ah, “stellar” entries. 🙂

  5. heylookawriterfellow May 7, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    This is great! And good luck!

    International fame is nothing compared to interplanetary fame.

    Just imagine; one day you might be able to say, “I’m big on Mars.”

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 7, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      I think you should enter, Mike. I’ll bet you could create one hilarious “Martian moment”!

      • heylookawriterfellow May 7, 2013 at 9:52 am #

        I’m sitting this one out. My poetry is strictly of the rhyming variety.

        Consider me a loyal member of your cheering section.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann May 7, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      And why do your words conjure the image of an ancient prize fighter sitting with his grandchildren and saying, “Ya know, kid, I was big on Mars, once.”


  1. Ground Control to Major Tom – Haiku Update | Jilanne Hoffmann - November 17, 2013

    […] So while I’m hanging out in my igloo, staring at my computer screen under the guise of writing a novel during NaNoWriMo, I get an email about the “Haiku on Mars” submission I wrote about on my blog in May– Ground Control: […]

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