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9/11 Poem by Philip Appleman Scroll down!

City Glowscape (C) 2004 by Daniela Gioseffi

Philip Appleman, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of English at Indiana University, has published seven volumes of poetry, the latest of which is New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996 (University of Arkansas Press, 1996); three novels, including Apes and Angels (Putnam, 1989); and half a dozen nonfiction books, including the widely used Norton Critical Edition, Darwin. His poetry and fiction have won many awards, including a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Friend of Darwin Award from the National Center for Science Education, and the Humanist Arts Award of the American Humanist Association, and have appeared in scores of publications, including Harper's Magazine, The Nation, New Republic, New York Times, Paris Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, and Yale Review. He has given readings of his poetry at the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim Museum, the Huntington Library, and many universities, and is a member of the Poetry Society of America, the Academy of American Poets, PEN American Center, and the Authors Guild of America.His third edition of the Norton Critical Edition of Darwin was published this year, and he is editing a new edition on Malthus. He is married to playwright and poet Marjorie


They could
pump frenzy into air ducts
and rage into reservoirs,
dynamite dams
and drown the cities,
cry fire in theaters
as the victims are burning,
I will find my way through blackened streets
and kneel down at your side.

They could
jump the median, head-on,
and obliterate the future,
fit .45's to the hands of kids
and skate them off to school,
flip live butts into tinderbox forests
and hellfire half the heavens,
in the rubble of smoking cottages
I will hold you in my arms.

They could
send kidnappers to kindergartens
and pedophiles to playgrounds,
wrap themselves in Old Glory
and gut the Bill of Rights,
pound at the door with holy screed
and put an end to reason,
I will cut through their curtains of cunning
and find you somewhere in moonlight.

Whatever they do with their anthrax or chainsaws, however they strip-search or brainwash or blackmail, they cannot prevent me from sending you robins,
all of them singing: I'll be there.

Copyright ©2004 by Philip Appleman. All rights reserved by the author.


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