Saturday, May 10, 2008

World Astrotipuritura Championships

I have just been informed that I am now a World Astrotipuritura Champion.
The full story is to be found on the World Astrotipuritura Championship website.
The "tipuritura" (from "tipat" in Romanian = scream) is the shortest poetic form in Romania, created in the northern region of Maramures to be screamed at folkloric parties. In the 1930s, inspired by the tragicomic spirit of the tipuritura, Stan Ioan Patras founded the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta (also in the Maramures zone) by realizing artistic works and writing short humorous poems on its tombs.

After 1995, Andrei Dorian Gheorghe adapted astronomically this poetic species, published an essay, Tipuritura - A Kind Of Romanian Haiku, in The Art of Haiku 2000 (edited in U.K. by Gerald England and New Hope International), and performed a few own astrotipurituras at
  • the International Cosmopoetry Festival during SARM's EuRoEclipse Perseids Event 1999 in Targoviste (Romania)
  • the Astropoetry Show (Astroshow) of the International Meteor Conference 1999 in Frasso Sabino (Italy)
  • NASA's Leonid Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign Workshop 2000 in Tel-Aviv (Israel).
The World Astrotipuritura Championship had the following rules
  1. Each work must have two rhymed lines.
  2. Each line must have seven or eight syllables.
  3. Each work must have an astronomical content.
  4. Each work must include (gallows) humour.
The finalists of the first World Astrotipuritura Championship were invited by the organizers generally after their achievements in astropoetry (astronomical poetry) in the last years or represent the most important people who have marked SARM's Cosmopoetry Festival history.
SARM (Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy) is the authority which patronized this World Championship). All astrotipurituras and connected works are presented in two languages:
  • English (official for the foreign guests)
  • Romanian (official for the finalists from SARM's country)
The Romanian translations from the English and the English translations from the Romanian were made by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe.

My contribution was:

Mars passes through the Great Bear
Is there anybody there?

Marte langa Ursa Mare:
"Cineva-i acolo oare?"

Gerald England

Our Eight Hand Gang leader contributed:

The Moon hangs pale above the trees -
Is it really ripe, green cheese?

Luna peste pomi se pierde -
O fi coapta branza verde?

I wonder if there's life on Mars?
Do they drive around in cars?

Ma-ntreb de-i viata pe Marte.
Au ei masini ca la carte?

Missed! The asteroid whizzed past;
Unfortunately, not the last.

Asteroid scos din turma.
Pacat ca nu-i cel din urma.

John Francis Haines

The other UK contributors are Steve Sneyd, Mandy Smith, Geoffrey H. Grayer, David Turner and Alastair McBeath.


  1. Congratulations. I'm jealous, I can write prose, but poetry has been beyond me.

  2. These are wonderful! It's amazing how one can play with words.

  3. Congratulations Gerald!

    PS. The first sculpture at your Oslo post is a memorial of all the people who died in the fire on M/S Scandinavian Star.

  4. Congratulations, I think you are worth it...You are a word-player ;-)