Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Poem about Commercial Air Travel

The Mendez family subscribes to a number of magazines--Scientific American and the New Yorker, to name two. Both Ana and Matt love the longer, well-written New Yorker articles, but Ana has yet to find one of their poems she's enjoyed. She asked Matt why that would be and Matt had to admit that he generally skipped them himself. They weren't on his "wavelength," he said, "too deep."

Ana is still learning Earth's cultures, to be sure, and poetry would doubtless be one of the more difficult areas to understand, for an outsider. Thoman poetry, like their society, is generally more rule-bound than ours, having definite metric patterns, stresses, assonance, and even some rhymes. It is often lyrical, and makes frequent use of metaphors, but seldom as freely associative (and as delightful to Ana) as modern English poetry.

If you've sampled Ana's favorite poems here on her blog, you might have noticed that for the most part they are clear and direct (as direct as poetry usually is), and they contain some innovative thought or observation worth thinking about. That's what she likes: that sudden insight, seeing something familiar in a new way. For example...

...those who know about Ana know she travels by air from time to time. Once in a while she charters planes when circumstances require it--money is not a problem for her, fortunately. Most times, she flies commercial. She immediately took to this poem, written through the eyes of a person waiting to board a flight, which she has done many times. Anyone who's flown on a commercial airliner would probably enjoy it as well.

Passengers, by Billy Collins

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