Poetry from Grief: 9/11

This is a particularly hard topic to write about, even think about so many years later. I want you to examine the way the poet attempts to honor the dead in this poem, Photograph from September 11. Does it work for you? Do you think the respect the poet offers the victims is sincere, the desire not to “add a last line”? Why might using metaphors and similes in poems about grief distance the reader from the feelings? It is hard not to be cliche, to try to say comforting things. I would like to encourage you to write about a grieving, not necessarily 9/11, perhaps something more personal to you, and attempt to allow yourself to simply describe things that happen in the poem, trying to evoke emotions that way, without resorting to metaphors that might allow you to wrap things up in a bow. Allow yourself and your readers to sit and experience the grief and pain. Can you leave the poem open-ended in some way?

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