Sunday, January 23, 2005

poem I liked

Something I've done at the JC Library was get us involved with the September Project, started by some librarians at Seattle Public and U. Wash. They're endevouring to hold some kind of event at public libraries every 9/11 to counterweight that whole "Day of Fire" shtick. This year it was a showing of the documentary "Poetry in Wartime." We had a pretty nice little turnout and rather interesting discussion afterward. I still get their newsletter, and the other day it had this rather great poem in't. Enjoy.

The Poem in Time of War

Sherman Pearl

should wake the city shouting EXTRA! EXTRA!
then whisper the story behind the story
like a conspirator.It should be short, stirring
as the president's call to arms;
soft enough for a flag at half-mast;
strong enough to stiffen the bereaved;
spacious enough to serve as a body bag.

The poem should carry the news that men
die miserably for lack of.It is
a brief on behalf of the living, a paper megaphone
for the voices of the dead.It must be
the world's last will and testament, a listing
of what will be left.It steals from forebears:
Sassoon's doomed diary and Auden's call to love.

The poem would be a prescription for healing
but who could read such a scrawl?...or a bandage
over the wounds, except that blood
tends to obliterate words.
Maybe all the war poems could be sewn together
into a vast thick quilt we'd pull around
our shoulders; might warm us on nights like this.


3 Comments:

Blogger Brook said...

i like this poem too -- very un-poem like.

Monday, January 24, 2005 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Brook said...

wondering: does the September Project have a website link we could post?

Monday, January 24, 2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

Here's the web address:

http://www.theseptemberproject.org/

Might also be worth looking for website of documentary itself...I'll just forward you the newsletter, 'cause I think there's more than one you might want to link to.

Monday, January 24, 2005 3:47:00 PM  

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