Sunday 18 March 2018

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer: 'Sonnet van een verloren duel' in English translation

Sonnet of a lost duel
in which the astrophysicist Stephen
Hawking (1942-2018) is commemorated

The mighty mind was little more than mind
that seemingly for black holes sought to speak.
The unbroken man who could not help but break
was manless most of life in humankind.

God’s degradation was what he embraced
by cynically explaining his creation.
By claiming God too mortal his equation
was QED’d for what God had laid waste.

‘A man’s a man for all that’ each man shares,
though bodiless. The stars were his domain,
and so God made of him a superstar.

And fame led him astray. So unawares
the duel caught him out, his bearers plain
amazed a voiceless bier weighs less by far.

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