In my mind, poetry exists for moments in time such as 9/11/01. Where else can you turn to in such times? How else can you attempt to make sense of something so insensible? Whether it's by reading or writing, the poignancy poetry is capable of...it's a powerful thing. Words are failing me here. I suppose I'm proving my point.
I'm rambling. It's as if I forgot how to blog! For this Poetry Friday, I want to share a poem I shared last year on the 9th anniversary of the attacks, a poem I think every American needs to read:
|Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100|
|by Martín Espada|
for the 43 members of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 100, working at the Windows on the World restaurant, who lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center
Alabanza. Praise the cook with the shaven head and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye, a blue-eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo, the harbor of pirates centuries ago. Praise the lighthouse in Fajardo, candle glimmering white to worship the dark saint of the sea. Alabanza. Praise the cook's yellow Pirates cap worn in the name of Roberto Clemente, his plane that flamed into the ocean loaded with cans for Nicaragua, for all the mouths chewing the ash of earthquakes. Alabanza. Praise the kitchen radio, dial clicked even before the dial on the oven, so that music and Spanish rose before bread. Praise the bread. Alabanza.
You can read the rest of the poem by clicking here. If you're a teacher and you need other resources to help you teach about 9/11, you should examine these:
- Teaching 9/11 (from the NY Times Learning Blog)
- Beyond Grief and Grievance by Philip Metres (posted at The Poetry Foundation)
- She Was the One (an animated 9/11 remembrance featured at Open Culture)
- Poetry of September 11 (a collection from the Library of Congress)
- Interactive Collage of Readers' Memories of 9/11 (produced by The Guardian)
- Best Sites for Teaching about 9/11 (from my web guru Larry Ferlazzo)
Not all are poetry related, but I think all are worthwhile and in all you can find poignant memories and thoughts to read (or write) about.
Secrets and Sharing Soda is where you'll find the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Be sure to check it out. And stay tuned as I dust myself off from hiatus and try to start blogging about poetry again on a more regular basis. There are some subscription options in the sidebar that I hope you consider taking advantage of! Thanks for reading!