‘The Lost Pilot’ is dedicated to James Tate’s father, who died on a bombing mission in World War II in 1944. He was a co-pilot of a B-17.
‘The Weakness’ appears in Toi Derricotte’s third collection of poetry, Captivity (1989). This poem explores a light-skinned woman’s hesitation, weakness, and low self-esteem in a racially judgmental society.
Robert Hass’s ‘Song’ is filled with the colors of autumn. It is about a pensive speaker’s afternoon cooking session.
‘The Pornographer’ appears in Robert Hass’s Yale Series of Younger Poets Award-winning collection Field Guide (1973). This poem is all about an artist who finds it difficult to get rid of his thoughts.
‘But He Was Cool,or: he even stopped for green lights’ is one of the best-known poems of Haki R. Madhubuti. This piece explores what it means to be “cool” for an African-American.
‘Barbed Wire’ is a poem about the tragic death of a horse on a summer afternoon. This piece explores the quick, sudden death of the horse.
Ai’s poem ‘The Kid’ presents a haunting tale of a fourteen-year-old boy who kills his mother, sister, and grandfather, and then runs away. It appears in her award-winning poetry collection Vice: New and Selected Poems (1999).
Ai’s poem ‘Cuba, 1962’ appears in her poetry collection Vice: New and Selected Poems (1999), winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. This piece is written in the context of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
‘The People of the Other Village’ is a satire of how one group of people hates the other one. It appears in Thomas Lux’s collection of poetry, Split Horizon (1994).
Adrian C. Louis’ ‘Looking for Judas’ is about how the Christian religion played a pivotal role in order to conquer the Native American people. This piece revolves around the central image of “blood.”
Norman Dubie’s ‘The Funeral’ is about a speaker’s aunt who died of cancer. In this piece, the speaker shares one of the best memories with her.
Carolyn D. Wright’s ‘Crescent’ is a thoughtful poem that describes a speaker’s intimate, incoherent feelings. She appreciates the nocturne with warmth and passion.
‘Begotten’ appears in the American poet Andrew Hudgins’ poetry collection The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood (1994). This poem is about a child finding his resemblance to the other members of his family.
‘Meeting the British’ is written in the context of Pontiac’s War of 1763 that took place in the aftermath of the French and Indian war during 1754-1763. This piece appears in the 1987 poetry collection by Paul Muldoon by the same name.
‘Quinceañera’ appears in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (1991). This coming-of-age poem is about a speaker’s physical and mental changes.
‘Arabic’, a thoughtful poem by Naomi Shihab Nye appears in Red Suitcase: Poems (1994). This poem features a speaker’s forgetfulness concerning her mother tongue (Arabic) and culture.
‘Nocturne: Blue Waves’ was written by the modern American poet Laurie Sheck. This poem captures a speaker’s feelings in the nocturnal brokenness.
Mark Doty’s ‘Bill’s Story’ appears in his best-known poetry collection My Alexandria (1993). This poem is about the death of a speaker’s sister suffering from dementia and AIDS.
‘Black Nikes,’ a poem by the American poet Harryette Mullen, was first published in Santa Monica Review (1997). This poem records a metaphorical journey of black people to stars.
David Mason’s ‘Spooning’ appears in the 1991 winter issue of The Hudson Review. This poem is about a speaker recapturing his dead grandfather’s life.
John Walsh’s ‘I’ve Got an Apple Ready’ appears in The New Oxford Book of Children’s Verse. This poem features a child who is in a hurry and keeps an apple in case she needs it on the way.
‘Cartoon Physics, part 1’ appears in Nick Flynn’s Some Ether (2000). This poem mocks the humorous concepts of animation that defy real physics and biology.
‘The Youngest Daughter’ was published in Cathy Song’s first poetry collection Picture Bride (1983). This poem explores the relationship of an aging daughter and her mother.
‘Affirmative Action Blues’ appears in Elizabeth Alexander’s Body of Life (1996). This poem is about the incident of police brutality on Rodney King in 1991.
‘Ask Me’ appears in William Stafford’s one of the best-known poetry collections, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford. This metaphorical poem is bout life and memories.
Olga Broumas’s ‘Calypso’ contains an allusion to the mythical character of Calypso mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. It is about a speaker dreaming of having intimacy with her imaginary companions.
C.D. Wright’s ‘Girl Friend’ poems appear in her poetry collection Steal Away (2002). This love poem is dedicated to Nina, the speaker’s girlfriend whom he first saw a few years ago.
‘Iris’, a heart-touching poem about death and love, appears in the American poet David St. John’s collection Study For The World’s Body. This poem is dedicated to the poet’s grandmother Vivian St. John.
Jorie Graham’s ‘San Sepolcro’ is an ekphrastic poem about the Etruscan wall art and especially Piero della Francesca’s famous fresco Madonna del Parto. It appears in Graham’s second volume of poetry Erosion (1983).
‘We Were Simply Talking’ appears in the American poet Andrew Hudgins’ poetry collection Babylon in a Jar (1998). This piece is about a car accident the speaker managed to avoid.