Volume 20, Number 50 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | APRIL 25 - MAY 1, 2008
Downtown Poems

Downtown Express file photo by Jefferson Siegel

Poets from near and far reflect on 9/11

The Tribute WTC Visitor Center is holding its second annual poetry reading on Sunday April 27 at 120 Liberty St. in recognition of the National Poetry Month. Poet Angelo Verga, who will host the reading, was part of the selection panel that selected 34 out of the 151 submitted poems, and he knew exactly what he was looking for. “It’s a question of what sounds free, honest and direct,” Verga said, “what resonates, what hits the heart.”

The majority of the poems came from New York City students and Lower Manhattan residents. The free reading will start at 3:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling the visitor center at (212) 393-9160 ext. 138. Here is a sample:

O Dios

By Catherine M. Brown
(Tribute Center Docent)

“My husband had taken ill,” she said.

“He was home watching television and

we saw it all happen across the world

in Argentina.”

“O, Dios,” he said. “Oh, God.”

“Those were the first words

he had spoken

in three years,” she continued.

“And the last words he said

until the day he died.”


“Life since 9/11”

By Jennifer Daddi
(6th grade student)

I was only five when blue skies turned to gray I do not recall too much of that day I can only go by what my parents say

“Our lives have now changed”, I heard my mom say.

My dad said, “Someone has taken our freedom away!”

I wasn’t so sure what they meant by those words Then we went on a trip that when I Understood

We went to see the Liberty Bell

That great sign of freedom with a story to tell On a long line we waited through x-rays and check points “Sorry we much check your bags, no medal or alarms will sound off”

That great symbol of freedom with a crack on its side Now not as free as it was once meant to be When I finally saw it I just had to sigh This can’t be what our forefathers had in their minds

I will wait in those lines I really don’t mind To see all the symbols of freedom that I can find My parents were wrong when I heard them say, “Someone has taken our freedom away”


Empire State Building after 9/11
By Patricia Ryan

We brought you back

like a retired

politician, 

tapping

into old glories

because

we didn’t know

what else

to do.

 

All eyes on you

again,

over-shadowed

sister,

resurrected

from ashes

that are

not

yours.

September 11th 2001
By Stephanie Sfiroudis

Do you remember?

Were you there?

What has changed?

Hatred.

War.

Violence.

Never ending conflicts.

What has changed?

Buildings falling,

Lives ending,

Feelings crushed,

Hearts broken,

Death.

What has changed?


Change is new,

Change is old,

Everything must

Change.

What has changed?

Switches,

Adjustments,

Transitions,

New rules,

Replacements.

What has changed?


Iraq is bombed

Daily and frequently,

America is grieving,

The world is shocked,

The people are scared,

What has changed?


Buildings rebuilt,

Terrorists perishing,

Governments born,

People coping,

Hope is growing.

Hoping

For a better tomorrow,

A better life,

A better world,

A safer world,

A stronger people,

A new day.

What has changed?

Only one answer

Exists.

Everything has changed.

“Some Say”

By Ryland Sundby
(Visitor Response Card left at the Tribute Center)

Some say that we should remember forever

Some say we should move on

I say we do both

And remember the dead

In our hearts, our minds, our souls,

But we also must remember,

Not to live in the past,

Or we may forget those who survived,

And that would add another death,

The death of a spirit.


9-11
By Benjamin Redzovic
(5th grade student in Staten Island)

More than 3600 souls went to heaven

For the madness and illness of a few on the run

A religion that praises peace will come undone

On that day a nation cried

For the thousands of souls that died

A world awoke

In one voice they spoke

Terrorism will never stand

In a world united hand in hand





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