A poem dedicated to the Rosetta mission and published by The Artel Press has been featured by the European Space Agency.
Threnody to Philae by poet John Elcock was recently included in the official Rosetta Tribute website by the ESA, a collection of artworks and art forms that have been inspired by ESA’s remarkable comet-chasing mission.
The poem is taken from Elcock’s second collection of poetry Come, Thule and responds to the ESA’s 2014-16 Rosetta Mission which successfully sent the Philae probe to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
In realising the mission, the ESA scientists revealed an ancient landscape inspiring artists and poets across the globe. Threnody to Philae alludes to the discovery of this hitherto unknown world relating it to Biblical scenes from the Old and New Testament.
Threnody to Philae
Brave Philae, cast out of light –
as a mirrored bolt thrown to the deep.
Patiently we waited.
Straining to warm hands on your dying ember,
your bright carapace forgotten, from your descent of aeons.
We listened for the echo of your distant voice,
but time stretched and drifted in the dark.
The tantalising nearness of your breath, soon lost
as an unseen child in an empty room.
Then silence.. but for a cicada-like beat
as we knelt with the basket by the bulrushes.
Succoured in a silicon swaddling cloth
from the waste lands we heard your birth pangs,
your comet’s voice so clear and sweet!
But we cast you down the mighty Nile
to linger with cold and unrelenting death
in the cold embrace of a spinning tomb.
From Come, Thule © John Elcock 2015