Some of our favorite poems about aviation.
To mark National Poetry Month in April 2009, we offered a daily selection of aviation-related verse. The featured poems were taken from the following books:
April 1, 2009
"An Emblem of Byzantium" is from Sources by Devin Johnston.
April 2, 2009
"An Airstrip in Essex 1960" is from Old and New Poems by Donald Hall.
April 3, 2009
"The Race" is from Strike Sparks: Selected Poems, 1980-2002 by Sharon Olds.
April 6, 2009
"Sonic Boom" is from Telephone Poles and Other Poems by John Updike.
April 7, 2009
"Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief" is from Selected Poems: 1960-1990 by Maxine Kumin.
April 8, 2009
"A History of Air Travel" by Anna Leahy was included in the anthology On the Wing: American Poems of Air and Space, edited by Karen Yelena Olsen. It originally appeared in the Fall 1995/Winter 1996 issue of Seattle Review.
April 9, 2009
"Skywriting" is from Skywriting and Other Poems, by Charles Tomlinson.
April 10, 2009
"Osage County Museum, Pawhuska, Oklahoma," is from One Age in a Dream by Diane Glancy.
April 13, 2009
"Persistence of 1937" is from Old and New Poems by Donald Hall.
April 14, 2009
"TWA 800" is from Open Shutters by Mary Jo Salter.
April 15, 2009
"Space Shuttle" is from Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems.
April 16, 2009
"Sparrow Trapped in the Airport," is by Averill Curdy.
April 17, 2009
"The Pilot in the Jungle" is from The Collected Poems of John Ciardi by John Ciardi.
April 20, 2009
"Warbird" by Anna Leahy is featured in Constituents of Matter and Turns about a Point.
April 21, 2009
"The Eagle," is by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
April 22, 2009
"Laika" is drawn from Esther Schor's second volume of poems, Protocol, which is nearing completion. The poem originally appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of The American Scholar.
April 23, 2009
"Voyage to the Moon," is from Collected Poems, 1917-1982 by Archibald MacLeish.
April 24, 2009
"A Leaf from a Log Book," originally appeared in Spanish Wings by H. Babcock.
April 27, 2009
"Sky Writers" appeared in With Wings as Eagles: Poems & Ballads of the Air.
April 28, 2009
"The Grave the Well" is from Old and New Poems by Donald Hall.
April 29, 2009
The excerpt from "Cape Hatteras" is from Complete Poems of Hart Crane, by Hart Crane.
April 30, 2009
"The Stars Don’t Dance" is by Anna Leahy is featured in Constituents of Matter, and Turns about a Point.
To mark National Poetry Month in April 2008, we offered a daily selection of aviation-related verse. The featured poems were taken from the following books:
The Old Pilot by Donald Hall, is from Old and New Poems,Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 1990.
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, by William Carlos Williams, is from Collected Poems 1939-1962, Volume II, New Directions Publishing Corp., 1962.
Flying at Night, by Ted Kooser, is from One World at a Time, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985.
Dog Asleep, by William Stafford, originally appeared in Creative Review, July 1958.
Toward the Space Age, by William Stafford, was used by permission of The Estate of William Stafford.
The Man in the Dead Machine, by Donald Hall, is from Old and New Poems, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 1990.
The Lunar Probe, by Maxine Kumin, is from Halfway, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961.
To Beachey, 1912, by Carl Sandburg, is from Chicago Poems, Henry Holt and Company, 1916.
Heel & Toe to the End, by William Carlos Williams, is from Collected Poems 1938-1962, Volume II, New Directions Publishing Corp., 1953.
Ode for Orville and Wilbur Wright, by David Moolten, first appeared in The Southern Review (Winter 2001). The poem also appears in David Moolten's book Especially Then, 2005.
The Black Hole, by Robert Pack, is from Fathering the Map: New and Selected Later Poems, University of Chicago Press, 1993.
Vacation, by Rita Dove, originally appeared in The New Yorker, December 26, 1994.
Translated from Luna Habitabilis by Thomas Gray (1716-71)
Autobiography at an Air-Station, by Philip Larkin, is from Collected Poems, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner, by Randall Jarrell, is from The Complete Poems, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969, 1997.
Small Plane in Kansas, by Thom Gunn, is from Collected Poems, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1982, 1994.
Amelia, by Gill Robb Wilson, is from Leaves From An Old Log, American Aviation Associates, 1938.
Eagle Youth, by Karle Wilson Baker, was originally published in Yale Review, 1918.
Losses, by Randall Jarrell, is from The Complete Poems, Farrar, Straux and Giroux, 1945, 1969.
The Boy's First Flight, by Gary Soto,was written for the NASA Art Program in 1997.
Flying Crooked, by Robert Graves, is from Robert Graves Collected Poems, Carcanet Press, 2000.
An Airman's Hymn, by Francis M. Miller, is from the June 20, 1940,18th Pursuit Group Songbook.