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Analysis and comments on The Lost Pilot by James Tate

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Comment 3 of 92, added on December 13th, 2007 at 8:30 AM.

"The Lost Pilot" is about being forced to live with several perspectives
on death. The death of Tate's father is so estranged that it takes on a
form of familiarity where both the survivor and the deceased inhabit that
same grey area of the psyche. It is there that random emotions stream
within Tate's use of imagery. Death and alienation are one the
same--which is why this poem is oftentimes said to be universal. The
survivor feels just as alienated as the living would expect the deceased to
feel. Most of Tate's poetry seems to be playful on the surface with his use
of unusual language and yet...it really is quite grave. I heard him read
once while a student at UNH where I studied with Simic (his close friend).
I will always remember that their writing was what spurred my interest in
poetry to begin with. "The Lost Pilot" is one of the finest American
contemporary poems. Not only is it lyrical, it is deeply felt. It
resonates deeply and lingers long after I have read it.

Marina Gipps

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Information about The Lost Pilot

Poet: James Tate
Poem: The Lost Pilot
Volume: The Lost Pilot
Year: 1967
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 16969 times
Poem of the Day: Oct 9 2000

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