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Poetry of Direct Personal Experience
Our Collection of Aviation and Military Poetry

From An Airplane
Amelia Earhart

Even the watchful purple hills
That hold the lake
Could not see so well as I
The stain of evening
Creeping from its heart;
Nor the round yellow eyes of the hamlet
Growing filmy with mists.

Dozens, if not hundreds of books have been written about Earhart, arguably the patron saint of women fliers. When the search for Amelia’s plane was finally abandoned, her husband George held out hope long past reason for her recovery. Yet when he accepted her vanishing and memorialized her, he didn’t use poetry; he used fragments from her logbook, which can be found in the Purdue archives: 'the light of the exhaust is beginning to show as pink as the last glow of the sky. Endless foggies. The view is too vast and lovely for words . . . I am getting housemaid’s knee, kneeling here gulping beauty.'

Excerpts from a flight logbook may seem a more fitting tribute, but it’s tempting to believe George still held those poetic fragments on scrap paper to be sacred. Or perhaps all that remained was too splintered, mysterious scrawls with numerous redactions and illegible line endings. One draft contains many versions of the line 'golden passion with ashes on her wings,' with scansion marks above the various versions, trying to get the line right. One changes the title 'Jealousy' to 'Surrender', and perhaps those attitudes of anger and submission were too great to know what she might secretly be saying.

amelia earhart

SY 2022-03-11

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 • Last Modified: 11 March 2022, 16:57