Poetry May 2011

Passed On

Head of the motor pool in World War II on Saipan
Tumbled out of his jeep one night on Saipan
Head injury requiring a plate on Saipan
Story told to his wife in a letter from Saipan

Story believed when he came home from Saipan
Night of stars and a drunken ride on Saipan
Anonymous lover tumbling with him on Saipan
There was no such person with him on Saipan

Devoted father escaped from family to Saipan
Never a shred about the woman on Saipan
Plate in his head and heart put in on Saipan
Long dead old man a young man then on Saipan

Presented by

Mark Jarman’s latest collection is Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems (2011). He teaches at Vanderbilt University.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In