Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Poetry after 911

I was moved by the poem “Alabanza” which I had to look up on my Spanish dictionary to be sure what was the meaning. Roughly it means “in praise”. This poem to me represents the diversity of the victims of 911.  These people in the poem were working people. They did not have executive jobs with big pay checks just people trying to make ends meet. “Ecuador, Mexico. Republica Dominicana, Haiti, Yemen, Ghana, Bangladesh.” (Expada 18-19).  These working people might have been immigrants coming to America for a better life.  They had no political agenda or power to control America’s policy toward the Middle East.  Some of the restaurant employees might have been Muslim too.  The last stanza where the smoke from the towers and smoke from Kabul is powerful. The idea that the Muslim and Americans can learn from one another. It is the least powerful people who suffer both in America and Afghanistan. Alabanza to all people!!
“The World Trade Center” poem talks about the transformation of a universally agreed ugly building and turns it into a symbol of America.  People begin to appreciate its uniqueness and associate it with New York. It is no longer viewed as architectural monstrosity. “My whole attitude toward the World Trade Center Changed overnight. I began to like the way.” (Lehman 16-17). This all happened because of the World trade bombing.    

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