Julie

Floroj burĝonas
Fluas rivero pura,
Bestetoj ludas.


—Les Kerr (2007)

Here’s a guide on how to pronounce the Esperanto words:

FLORE-oy  boor-JONE-ahs
FLUE-ahs  ree-VER-oh  POOR-ah
best-ET-oy  LOOD-ahs

I wrote the poem in Esperanto because (1) Esperanto is a very musical and expressive language, well suited for poetry, (2) Julie is the one who first got me interested in Esperanto, a gift I’ve been grateful for ever since, and (3) writing the poem in Esperanto reflects the respect Julie had for people of other cultures.

Although it sounds more natural in Esperanto, here it is in English:

Flowers are budding
Flows a river pure,
Little animals play.

The first line of the poem marks the time of year when Julie died (mid-March), but it also reminds us that this is the season when life in nature begins anew.

The second line reflects Julie’s concern for the environment.  The image of water in perpetual motion comes as an added bonus.

The third line speaks to Julie’s love of animals – especially small, furry animals.  Playfulness is a quality that is shared by humans and animals, and as such it provides a basis for Julie’s vegetarianism.

The poem has 3 lines; 2, 3, and 2 words per line, 7 words total; 5, 7, and 5 syllables per line, 17 syllables total.  These are all prime numbers, something that would appeal to any mathematician but especially to Julie and her coworkers.

The poem is compact, like Julie’s miniatures.

Like Julie, the poem makes observations, but it doesn’t preach.  Its basic message – respect for people, animals, and the environment – is implicit.

The lyrical quality of the poem recalls Julie’s love of music.

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