Navy Field

By William Meredith 1919–2007 William Meredith
Limped out of the hot sky a hurt plane,
Held off, held off, whirring pretty pigeon,
Hit then and scuttled to a crooked stop.
The stranger pilot who emerged—this was the seashore,
War came suddenly here—talked to the still mechanics
Who nodded gravely. Flak had done it, he said,
From an enemy ship attacked.
                  They wheeled it with love
Into the dark hangar’s mouth and tended it.
Coffee and cake for the pilot then who sat alone
In the restaurant, reading the numbered sheets
That tell about weather.
                  After, toward dusk,
Mended the stranger plane went back to the sky.
His curly-headed picture, and mother’s and medal’s pictures
Were all we knew of him after he rose again,
Those few electric jewels against the moth and whining sky.

William Meredith, “Navy Field” from Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1997 by William Meredith. Reprinted with the permission of the author and TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, http://nupress.northwestern.edu.

Source: Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems (1997)

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Poet William Meredith 1919–2007

Subjects War & Conflict, Heroes & Patriotism, Social Commentaries

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 William  Meredith

Biography

Acclaimed poet William Meredith wrote formal, disciplined poetry of cool observation, intelligence, and wit. A Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, and later the Poet Laureate Consulate in Poetry to the Library of Congress, Meredith was also a Director and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. His many honors also included the Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the National Book Award and the . . .

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SUBJECT War & Conflict, Heroes & Patriotism, Social Commentaries

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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