Invitation to Ground Zero

By William Jay Smith b. 1918
Into the smouldering ruin now go down:
And walk where once she walked and breathe the air
She breathed that final day on the burning stair
And follow her, beyond the fleeing crowds,
Into the fire, and through the climbing clouds.

Into the smouldering ruin now go down:
And find, in ashes bright as hammered tin,
A buried bone-white naked mannikin
That flung from some shop window serves to bind
Her body, and its beauty, to your mind.

William Jay Smith, "Invitation to Ground Zero" from Hudson Review. Copyright © 2003 by William Jay Smith.  Reprinted by permission of William Jay Smith.

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Poet William Jay Smith b. 1918

Subjects Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, War & Conflict

Holidays September 11th

Biography

William Jay Smith told Contemporary Authors: "I am a lyric poet, alert, I hope, as my friend Stanley Kunitz has pointed out, 'to the changing weathers of a landscape, the motions of the mind, the complications and surprises of the human comedy.' I believe that poetry should communicate: it is, by its very nature, complex, but its complexity should not prevent its making an immediate impact on the reader. Great poetry must have . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, War & Conflict

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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