Jesus got up one day a little later than usual. He had been dream-
ing so deep there was nothing left in his head. What was it?
A nightmare, dead bodies walking all around him, eyes rolled
back, skin falling off. But he wasn’t afraid of that. It was a beau-
tiful day. How ’bout some coffee? Don’t mind if I do. Take a little
ride on my donkey, I love that donkey. Hell, I love everybody.

Analysis, meaning and summary of James Tate's poem Goodtime Jesus


  1. Joan McHardy says:

    I did not get why this is a great poem.

  2. Eddie Louise says:

    I think this is about Palm Sunday – Jesus had a prophetic dream – but shook it off to live in the world of hosannas! Good times before the inevitable bad.

  3. David Allred says:

    It’s Easter morning. Jesus has returned from the dead. It’s a brilliant poem.

  4. suzi says:

    @josh – why not just explain it instead of saying how easy it is and to reread it? thanks~

  5. Josh says:

    This is a wonderful piece. For those of you who don’t get it, please keep reading it. Read between the lines. This piece is not shallow by any stretch. There is a DEEP meaning. Try combining the two things foreshadowed by both Jesus’ nightmare and “Take a little ride on my donkey,…”. You’ll get it if you look for it.

  6. Arlene says:

    I read it. I re-read it. I re-re-read it. I got it! lol I like it!

  7. cary says:

    A lighthearted, but deft, poem from our finest living poet.

  8. Roundabout says:

    If you’re in the mood for a flippant joke and looney levity, then you’ll love this one.

    Light verse is fine but oughtn’t it be more, well, witty? Smarter? With more zip in the language itself? This humor is dumb and dumber — and I just don’t think mixing an image of nuclear holocaust with a cheery coffee-loving Jesus works. If you want a deeper laugh, seek out Dorothy Parker, Ogden Nash, Billy Collins, Wendy Cope.

  9. JC says:

    This is a great poem.

  10. jerry says:

    I must agree with rain here. Just because you dont understand some thing doesnt mean it sucks.Just the opposite, if it envoked you to think the poem has done its job..This poem is so obviously about just feeling good..maybe the message was to simple for you kenneth.

  11. Rain says:

    a Great poem.Ken is the one who is high…

    poetry is about evoking emotion and this one’s about good times, as the title implies. Get off yer high horse and relax man…

  12. Kenneth C. says:

    How can this be called poetry? It has no meaning whatsoever and is totally stupid! If this guy won all those awards that are mentioned in his bio, I have to say that the award-givers were smoking some serious crack! So was he, I guess, when he wrote his so-called poems. Anyway, that’s my opinion.

  13. Ronoco says:

    good poem

  14. CB says:

    I love this poem

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