Compressing Michael Crichton into Poetry

Sahar, a ninth grader and former Badgerdog summer camp writer, shows us that anything can inspire us to write, including Michael Crichton’s novel Airframe: “an aero-techno-thriller which relates the story of a quality assurance vice-president at the fictional aerospace manufacturer Norton Aircraft, as she investigates an in-flight accident aboard a Norton-manufactured airliner that leaves three passengers dead and fifty-six injured.” Sahar gives voice to the pilot, whose thoughts we never hear in the novel.  Sahar shows us what the compression of poetry can create: she develops urgency with white space between lines and demonstrates how a past tense verb can leave a reader with a lingering sense of dread.  


Fighting with yourself, internally
and externally

Because the problem never even


56 injured, 3 fatalities

In the depth of the sky


Elements that seem to be mere
fiction spark panic that gently
flows through your blood

Colder and colder you become, yet
sweat drops onto the controls

You don’t understand what’s
happening to you but you can
control it

Slowly each spark lights another
and another and your body turns

Why You? Why them?

You feel all of it tumbling down to
the world

Let reality embrace all

Let Truth be told

Simple mistakes lead to
misfortune danger

Real facts would have ruled you

They were your only savior


4 thoughts on “Compressing Michael Crichton into Poetry

  1. Great exhibition of what a concentrated verbiage can do in a poem form. “Colder and colder you become, yet sweat drops onto the controls,” creates a vivid picture of the pilot and the situation in just few short words.

    Good job…
    Keep writing..
    We are following…

  2. The best imagery of “cold sweat” I have seen in a long time. Vivid to the point of making one feel an out-of-body experience of being in the cockpit as this happened. Simply wonderful!

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