Invitation to Ground Zero

By William Jay Smith 1918–2015
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 1918–2015

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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

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Biography

Known for the diverse form and content of his work, and celebrated for the careful craft and antic humor of his verse, William Jay Smith was the author over 50 books of poetry for adults and children. Smith was born in Louisiana and grew up on an Army base outside of St. Louis. He earned his BA and MA from Washington University in St. Louis. He served in the US Naval Reserves during World War II, and afterward met and married . . .

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Poem Categorization

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

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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