September 14, 2011

Looking Back to 9/11, Part 4

This is the fourth installment looking back at commentary and poetry I wrote following the events of September 11, 2001. The third installment can be found here.

In 2001, I often wrote at a picnic table on my second-story deck. Many airplanes going in and out of Pittsburgh could be seen from the deck on any given day. I planned to write a poem about the passing aircraft, but I never got around to it.

The parade of airplanes was interrupted after September 11, 2001, which saw civilian aviation grounded for a time. Working on my deck became oddly different. Eventually, of course, the planes returned to the sky, and a certain sense of normality was restored. I finally did write a poem about the airplanes and titled it “Airplanes II” in acknowledgement of the earlier poem that was never written. The poem I did write is very different from the poem I did not write.

“Airplanes II” does not use rhyme, but its two stanzas are written in strict iambic pentameter. More commentary on the poem can be found on my Web site here.

Airplanes II

by Lionel E. Deimel
November 5, 2001

The planes again o’er fly my backyard deck,
As to and from their ’port they come and go—
Though fewer now than passed this way before,
Yet, still a comfort by their presence there.

They trace a line across the cloudless sky;
Between the trees they follow on their track
That, to the earthbound, cannot be perceived,
But ’tis the yoke of civilizing might.

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