313th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 313th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from James Tate (R.I.P.): (read in the YouTube video by UsedBuyer)

The Lost Pilot

        for my father, 1922-1944

Your face did not rot
like the others—the co-pilot,   
for example, I saw him

yesterday. His face is corn-
mush: his wife and daughter,   
the poor ignorant people, stare

as if he will compose soon.
He was more wronged than Job.   
But your face did not rot

like the others—it grew dark,
and hard like ebony;
the features progressed in their

distinction. If I could cajole
you to come back for an evening,   
down from your compulsive

orbiting, I would touch you,   
read your face as Dallas,   
your hoodlum gunner, now,

with the blistered eyes, reads   
his braille editions. I would
touch your face as a disinterested

scholar touches an original page.   
However frightening, I would   
discover you, and I would not

turn you in; I would not make   
you face your wife, or Dallas,   
or the co-pilot, Jim. You

could return to your crazy   
orbiting, and I would not try   
to fully understand what

it means to you. All I know   
is this: when I see you,   
as I have seen you at least

once every year of my life,   
spin across the wilds of the sky   
like a tiny, African god,

I feel dead. I feel as if I were   
the residue of a stranger’s life,   
that I should pursue you.

My head cocked toward the sky,   
I cannot get off the ground,   
and, you, passing over again,

fast, perfect, and unwilling   
to tell me that you are doing   
well, or that it was mistake

that placed you in that world,
and me in this; or that misfortune   
placed these worlds in us.

What do you think?

  • Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

    Such a sad poem!