Another poem… This time a more somber experience based on the way I perceived the Pentagon Memorial for the September 11 Attacks in 2001.
The day I went to see it was bright and sunny, with the same blue sky that I can still see on the TV screen which was burnt into my memory. Next to the pictures of the burning Twin Towers in New York, the attack on the Pentagon looked more like a footnote in history. You had no graphic pictures of the attack. There seemed to be nothing there but a gaping hole and death statistics.
Walking down the isles of small reflecting pools, however, each one overshadowed by what looks like little pool springboards or maybe the tail of an airplane, you realize that there is more to it.
There were people on this plane. Old men and women and younger ones. On the left there is a small wall with metal badges depicting year dates on them. If you then try to see the memorial as a whole, you will quickly realize what this means:
Years of birth, dividing the field of boards into different aisles.
And you know that for every dead person in the plane or the Pentagon, there will be a metal springboard among the pebbles to your right.
Walk up the path and their numbers will gradually decrease until you find yourself standing in front a single board of sorrow, commemorating a 3-year old girl.
. Surfboards of sorrow,
. Springing from the soil.
. Shadowing silent pools of
Sadness, despair and
. Shining mirrors of
Even though it is a very short poem, it plays with language in a very peculiar way. S is the most notable and important letter here, connecting not only the metaphor of the “Surfboard” with the feeling of “sorrow,” but also each successive line and the sadness expressed in them. It is also an integral part of making the transition from “Sadness” to “Shinning mirrors” and finally “Hope.”
The form of the lines and their arrangement also paint a clear picture of the memorial itself.
Also, the title is a minor play on words that gives the location of the poem while at the same time bringing the feeling of loss (when you miss something or someone that is “gon/e”) fresh to your mind.
I hope you liked this poem. Especially, since it tries to depict the essence of sadness in a way that still offers the possibility of recovery and, of course,…
Posted in Breath of Fresh Air