Girl Seeking Lost, Loved Poem - Your Chance to Win a Free Copy of my Book Coming this Fall!

by - 4:36 PM

But it doesn't help
That I first started searching
Through e.e. cumming's work
To find this tiny verse
That was probably already 
Shorter than this poem
Currently is.

Even now all I can remember
Is that plane overhead
Flying somewhere, maybe Rio?
And every time I see
A silver vessel
Its shining sides reflecting
The lowering sun
A trail of Heaven mist
Streaking the sky
I wonder how far
Those lost words have traveled
By now.
- A snippet from "An Ode to that A.R. Ammons Poem I Will Never Find Again" by Sonja Ciotti

It shouldn't be that hard to find, right? 

So here's the story: back in college - probably around the same time that I compulsively bought the book A String in the Harp by Nancy Bond (see my entry "A Snippet from Aberystwyth" for the back story here) a little burgundy and green book of poetry caught my eye at the bookstore.  I can't remember if it was because the title's font was this quirky 1920's/Strawberry Shortcake hybrid or if because the title said something like "Really Short Poems."  But, I remember picking it up and flipping immediately to a little poem - it couldn't have been more than 15 lines long - and yet it perfectly described the wonder I've experienced since I was a little girl looking up at the sky and watching a plane fly over, imagining where it was flying off to.  Yep, this poem spoke to me.

I bought the book containing this poem.  This much I know.  And somehow time had eroded most of the rest of my memories of it away.  Including the author!  I could have sworn it was e.e. cummings.  It was someone with initials for a first name, anyway, how many poets could possibly fall under that criterion? ;) Then I went into my mind palace (any other BBC Sherlock fans out there? No?) and remembered it was actually A.R. Ammons who wrote this glorious little verse.  And seeing as A.R. Ammons was a North Carolinian and I am an adopted North Carolinian, I really feel like the State of North Carolina should have denied my application for NC residency if I couldn't recall this important information.

Anyway, there you have it!  I've Googled all the words I could remember from the poem.  Nothing.  If any of you more enlightened readers and poetry buffs out there can somehow dig it up with the clues I've provided I'll send the first person to accurately post the full A.R. Ammons poem in the comment box with a free copy of my poetry collection, coming out this fall!

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  1. "Sitting Down, Looking Up"

    A silver jet,
    riding the top of tundra clouds,
    comes over
    maybe from Rio:
    the aluminum sun shines down
    on it
    as if it were a natural creature.

    1. Bingo!!! I can't thank you enough for finding this :D I'm thrilled to give away my first copy of my poetry book this fall to you, Whitney!