Thursday, September 11, 2008

Riding The Elevator into the Sky

I struggled with today's post because I wanted to say so much about September 11th, and yet, I wanted to observe the silence.

In the end, I'm taking the easy way out, taking the lead (ok, maybe stealing) from MUG. Poems very rarely speak to me, but this one did. And it said "Post me! Post me!"

By Anne Sexton (1975)

As the fireman said:
Don't book a room over the fifth floor
in any hotel in New York.
They have ladders that will reach further
but no one will climb them.
As the New York Times said:
The elevator always seeks out
the floor of the fire
and automatically opens
and won't shut.
These are the warnings
that you must forget
if you're climbing out of yourself.
If you're going to smash into the sky.

Many times I've gone past
the fifth floor,
cranking upward,
but only once
have I gone all the way up.
Sixtieth floor:
small plants and swans bending
into their grave.
Floor two hundred:
mountains with the patience of a cat,
silence wearing its sneakers.
Floor five hundred:
messages and letters centuries old,
birds to drink,
a kitchen of clouds.
Floor six thousand:
the stars,
skeletons on fire,
their arms singing.
And a key,
a very large key,
that opens something –
some useful door –
somewhere –
up there.



Blogger Kylie w Warszawie said...

Beautiful. I didn't post today in observance. My family and I were in DC that day.

September 11, 2008 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Madge said...

this is perfect and sitting right next to silent observance....

September 11, 2008 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Z said...

Such a great poem. Perfect.

September 11, 2008 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no words. Just my thoughts, with you and so many others today.

September 11, 2008 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Suzie said...

That poem gave me chills

September 11, 2008 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous sofie said...

Thank you for this. Sexton was a genius, and you are not too shabby yourself, Marinka.

September 11, 2008 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

What a powerful poem. Wow.

September 11, 2008 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Words fail me today. It's still all too much.

September 11, 2008 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Mama Ginger Tree said...

It feels like yesterday. Really. I can't even imagine being in New York. What a fantastic poem.

I also loved your previous 9/11 post.

September 11, 2008 at 5:51 PM  
Anonymous sdl said...

That is so beautiful--thank you.

September 11, 2008 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger ms. changes pants while driving said...

i don't have anything to say. so i'll just say hi. thank you for posting this.

September 12, 2008 at 5:23 PM  

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