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Poet Lucille Clifton Reads a Poem About the Days Surrounding Sept. 11

Free verse poet Lucille Clifton reads "September Songs, A Poem in Seven Days" about the days surrounding Sept. 11, 2001 which included the terrorist attacks and the birth of her granddaughter.

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  • LUCILLE CLIFTON, Former Poet Laureate Of Maryland:

    My name is Lucille Clifton. I was having lunch at Saint Mary's College in Maryland on September 11, when I watched on television the devastation of the Twin Towers. And I thought a lot about that and about the fact that my eldest daughter had, had a new baby girl five days before, and about love and continuing and fear and hope. And this poem is a reaction to those thoughts and feelings. The poem is called "September's Song: A Poem in Seven Days." And I would like to read two days in the poem.

    Tuesday thunder and lightning and our world is another place no day will ever be the same no blood untouched

    they know this storm in otherwheres israel ireland palestine but God has blessed America we sing

    and God has blessed America to learn that no one is exempt the world is one all fear is one all life all death all one

    Sunday Morning for bailey

    the st. marys river flows as if nothing has happened

    i watch it with my coffee afraid and sad as are we all

    so many ones to hate and i cursed with long memory

    cursed with the desire to understand have never been good at hating

    now this new granddaughter born into a violent world

    as if nothing has happened

    and i am consumed with love for all of it

    the everydayness of bravery of hate of fear of tragedy

    of death and birth and hope true as this river

    and especially with love bailey fredrica clifton goin

    for you

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