Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

légèrement geek  légèrement geek

Cas 234


(Désolé, cette page n'a pas encore été traduite en français.)

The nun Hwídah has composed this uncharacteristically somber sonnet for your contemplation:

I chanced upon an ancient cache of code:
a stack of printouts, tall as any man,
that in decaying boxes had been stowed.
Ten thousand crumbling pages long it ran.
Abandoned in the blackness to erode,
what steered a ship through blackness to the moon.
The language is unused in this late year.
The target hardware, likewise, lies in ruin.
Entombed within one lone procedure’s scope,
a line of code and then these words appear:


The code beside persisting to the last—
as permanent as aught upon this sphere—
while overhead, a vacant moon flies past.

Editor’s note

Inspired by this story of the Apollo Guidance Computer code for Apollo 11, and this code within, and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias of course.

I tried to keep to Shelley’s unusual (and non-standard) rhyme scheme for the sonnet, but I departed from it in the second-to-last line for poetic reasons. For a language which excels in stealing words from other cultures, English has an appalling lack of rhymes.

* Special thanks to Dan Sutton for pointing out a most embarrassing typo.
Topics...  FIXME, TODO, kludges