Impassioned poems inspired by the World Trade Center tragedy fill Jones’ (Heaven Help Us, 2003) second book of verse.
Immediately following the 9/11 attack, many American musicians, writers and artists were stirred to create as a means of catharsis for themselves and their fans. Across New York City, poems were tacked-up on posts, spray-painted on walls and even scribed into the film of ash that blanketed the metropolis. Unlike the few similar books of 9/11 poetry, We Remember captures sadness, anger, suffering and vengefulness, but also hope, with an entirely religious and spiritual point of view. With the dedication, â€œTo all my American brothers and sisters who perished on that great and notable day,” Jones’ 12-part series of verse swings with fervor, beginning with the shock and trauma of the event, segueing through reactionary human impulses of revenge and followed by the process of personal and national recovery. Published just shy of seven years after the horrific events that shook the nation and world, the book demonstrates that the wounds incurred have inspired feelings of loss, but ultimately strength. At times overtly America-centric and jingoistic–such as when calling the United States the â€œgreatest country,” that others â€œwaited to see fall”–much of the verse is narrow in its literalism and subjectivity. Yet while this volume is the poet’s attempt at reconciling the tragedy, its universal appeal lies in the process of emotional digestion, making it easily accessible to a larger audience. While the book’s subtitle is Memorial Poems of September 11, its inspirational messages allow many of the compositions to stand alone.
A timely compilation of poems examining an American catastrophe.