LAIKA *

LAIKA *

In a metal bullet,
The best, we own,
Flies day after day a dead dog
Around our earth
As a warning,
That ever so could circle
Year after year around the sun,
Loaded with a dead humanity,
The planet Earth,
The best we have.

GÜNTER KUNERT, Germany, 1929-2019

Translation Germain Droogenbroodt

From „Erinnerung an einen Planeten – Reminicense of a Planet“, Heyne Lyrik

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LAIKA // In einer Kugel aus Metall,/Dem besten, das wir besitzen,/Fliegt Tag für Tag /in toter Hund/Um
unsre Erde/Als Warnung,/Dass so einmal kreisen könnte/Jahr für Jahr um die Sonne,/Beladen mit einer
toten Menschheit,/Der Planet Erde,/Der beste, den wir besitzen

***

* Laika the first animal to orbit the earth. She was selected to occupy the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was
launched into outer space on 3 November 1957. Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living
creatures at that time. Laika died within hours from overheating.