Lucy Vickery

Back space

In Competition No. 3120 you were invited to submit a poem reflecting on the Apollo 11 moon landing written in the style of the poet of your choice.
Cath Nichols’s enjoyable entry looked back on the lot of the Apollo wives through Wendy Cope’s acerbic eye. Nick MacKinnon was also an accomplished Cope impersonator:

Bloody men are like bloody rockets,
you wait nearly five billion years
and as soon as one feels up your craters
another Apollo appears…

Rufus Rutherford, channelling Basho, submitted a charming haiku. And Robert Schechter, as Ogden Nash, also kept it brief:
To the marvellous event that happened fifty years ago I dedicate this ode.
The first man on the moon, you say? That was pretty good, but what I had in mind was Abbey Road.
The brightest stars this week are printed below and win £25 each.

God’s fiat let there be two kinds of light,
One bringing day, the other soft’ning night.
The gods of myth then made these roles their own,
The sun as male, the moon as female shown.
Celestially remote, they reigned divine,
Their pow’rs bewitching, awesome or benign.
But lo! this landing brought them both to ground,
Their majesty dispelled, their heads uncrowned.
Ex deo machina, Apollo came
To yield his fiery chariot — and his name;
Selene, ever seen demurely fair,
Had all her desert dust and rock laid bare.
The heavens’ mysteries all stand revealed
When human probing leaves no secret sealed.
Such ventures are of negligible worth:
Man’s proper sphere of study is the Earth.
W.J. Webster/Alexander Pope
’Twas lift-off and the lunic team
Did whirl and whizzle into space
To vitalise their squambic scheme
And gumble in the moonish race.
To buzz and kneel by lunar seas
There came a bold and plambic plan
To prove the moon’s not made of cheese,
Then take a strantic step for man.

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