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The Poetry of Everyday LifeStorytelling and the Art of Awareness$
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Steve Zeitlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702358

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702358.001.0001

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Oh Did You See the Ashes Come Thickly Falling Down?

Oh Did You See the Ashes Come Thickly Falling Down?

September 11 Street Poems

Chapter:
(p.105) 10 Oh Did You See the Ashes Come Thickly Falling Down?
Source:
The Poetry of Everyday Life
Author(s):

Steve Zeitlin

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501702358.003.0011

This chapter considers the proliferation of street poems as a form of healing and remembrance after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. In the days and weeks that followed the attack on the World Trade Center, the streets of New York lay eerily quiet and deserted. The poets did not wait for the dust to settle. As streams of water poured over the smoke at Ground Zero, distraught and bereaved New Yorkers scrawled missives in the ash. On the afternoon of the first day, Jordan Schuster, a student from New York University, laid out a sheet of butcher paper in Union Square; he was the first of many to inspire his fellow New Yorkers to set down their thoughts in poetry. Words proliferated into a barrage of written feeling that vented rage and offered solace. Street shrines served as portals for the living to talk directly to the terrorists.

Keywords:   street poems, healing, remembrance, 9/11, terrorist attacks, New York City, World Trade Center, poets, street shrines, poetry

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