Poetry Friday: In Memory

Today’s Poetry Friday is for all the beloved people who perished on 9/11/01 and for the families and friends they leave behind. Here are two poems from poet Gregory Orr, a man who accidentally killed his brother in a hunting accident when he was a boy, a man well acquainted with grief.

Untitled [This is what was bequeathed us]
by Gregory Orr

This is what was bequeathed us:
This earth the beloved left
And, leaving,
Left to us.

No other world
But this one:
Willows and the river
And the factory
With its black smokestacks.

No other shore, only this bank
On which the living gather.

No meaning but what we find here.
No purpose but what we make.

That, and the beloved’s clear instructions:
Turn me into song; sing me awake.

** From How Beautiful The Beloved

by Gregory Orr

Do words outlast
The world
They describe?
Do the things
Fall away,
Leaving only
The husks
Of their names?

And what does
Their perishing
Ask of us?

Lift up, lift up:
A song
Could redeem them.
A poem
Could fill them
With life again.

Don’t we owe
The world
At least that much,
That gave itself
So freely to us?

* From Concerning the Book That is the Body of the Beloved

Today’s Poetry Round-up can be found at Secrets and Sharing Soda.


  1. jama says:

    Beautiful selections to commemorate 9/11, Karissa.

    “Turn me into song; sing me awake.”

    There is nothing for grief but poetry. Now I need to read more of Orr’s work. Thank you!

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