Ground Zero Sight (In new “Freedom Tower”) – Tritina

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Ground Zero Sight (In new “Freedom Tower”)

I walked where gaps in late rush hour led,
threading my way through shoulders crowding,
till random retinal rod looked up, saw

moon–not in sky, but in new tower’s glass–saw-
ing from rectangle to round as crowding
panels re-cut and perspective, led

by my tilt of head and careful crowding
steps, re-shaped; and, for once, the site did not saw
my chest in two– hewn norm since that morning of lead —

but led to wonder, crowding out (for moonrise moment) what–I saw.
*****************************************************
Agh!  the last line was originally intended to run over into the next – but the runover would not be indented so settled for dash.  Also, original version of this post used “that” instead of “what” which I think was a bit more confusing than the “what.” 

The above is a “tritina”, a form of mini-sestina, that repeats in intersecting order the last words of the line. I am posting it for the dVerse Poets Pub “Form For All” challenge hosted today by the wonderful craftsman Samuel Peralta (a/k/a Semaphore).

The photo taken last night on my iPhone shows the new Freedom Tower being built at Ground Zero to replace the old World Trade Center. I was startled to see the reflection of the moon in the lower left hand corner – it’s that small round speck there. It shifted, of course, as I moved, especially given the right-angled glass panels.

The photo below is the view from the other side.

Check out dVerse, Sam’s article on Tritinas and my books! Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape. Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!

Explore posts in the same categories: 9/11, poetry, Uncategorized

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29 Comments on “Ground Zero Sight (In new “Freedom Tower”) – Tritina”

  1. Laurie Kolp Says:

    Great key word choices here. The extra dash works just fine. = )

  2. hedgewitch Says:

    Nice enjambment to vary the keywords–you chose well, making the poem much less formulaic–and it has that sort of jostled, jacked-up heartbeat rhythm I often feel when New York dwellers write about New York. If some of those memories are finally getting some fade around the edges, and especially a few replacements, that is a very good thing–the feel here is of an organic change. The top photo, I thought at first the moon’s reflection was multiplied repeatedly in the building’s ‘spine’ -then saw it wasn’t, but how cool would that be? I knew you’d be a natural with this form, K. (nice juxtaposed homophones in the last lines also.)

  3. brian miller Says:

    smiles…i remember being outside your place and watching the workers up there…think i even told claudia i was glad i was not working up so high….i cant see the picture so it seems wp is playing tricks on you….ugh…sorry….bet its pretty cool to see it now…


  4. I love the way your words’ meanings change, transform, transfix us – stanza to stanza. The jostling, the movement, the catch in the throat of something to take the place of when actually nothing can take the place of that – can only stand as a tribute to sacrifice and courage.


  5. This is filled with new hope for what has been such a difficult subject to write about and discuss for so many. The pic is fabulous but your Tritina while acknowledging the event doesn’t dwell there but instead gives hope for the future.
    Capturing the moon in it is so cool!

  6. Mary Says:

    I loved the picture that you took of this tower with the full moon presence. I’d eaten at the Windows of the World, visited NYC another time after 9/11 when there was only the gaping hole. This Tower is absolutely stunning. Maybe it is time for me to return to NYC again.

    Your tritina is so well worded. I felt as if I was there with you. Thank you for sharing your vision.

  7. Susan Says:

    Great night photos to accompany this “Ground Zero sight”–words that still cause me to hold my breath. So I read this poem as a possible healing, just an instance of the Harvest Blue Moon signalling:
    “by my tilt of head and careful crowding
    steps, re-shaped; and, for once, the site did not saw
    my chest in two– – hewn norm since that morning of lead –

    but led to wonder, crowding out (for moonrise moment) that–I saw.”

    And that’s where the tears come. So happy that wonder is possible.

    [Long Pause right here]

    PS: I wrote about and then revised “Letter to the Debate” on my post, but couldn’t find your email address to send it. Do stop by when you have time. You made me happy by caring to give an honest and direct reading that helped me to improve my poem.


  8. I specially the last 4 lines, reshaping of the tower, and seeing it anew…that morning of lead was a powerful image by the way ~

    Enjoyed the form K ~

  9. Claudia Says:

    wow…very cool pic and i can imagine how spectacular it was to see the moon reflection shifting as you moved..thanks for showing us a bit of it..in your pic and in your words..


  10. This is wonderful k. Transported me back to May when my friend and I visited NY and saw the towers being constructed. Fab that you noticed the moon reflected ~ and what a great tritina to come out of it 🙂

  11. hobgoblin2011 Says:

    Very effective, powerful imagery here. Really love how you carried lines over and bent the key words to your needs. Really creative and I’m guessing would open up the possibilities of the form even more so. Outstanding piece. Thanks

  12. David King Says:

    I agree with Hedgwitch’s remarks on the enjambment, but the whole poem is one to savour. The inclusion of the tower just makes the post that much more fascinating.

  13. kkkkaty Says:

    the words ‘crowding’ and ‘saw’ and ‘led’ strike me as brilliant.

  14. Tony Says:

    I’ll never forget where I was on that day – thank you for sharing a different image of a place that is thousands of miles from me, but ingrained in my memory forever.


  15. Thanks for sharing this, Karin, for those of us on the other side of the continent. I love the way your use of enjambment pulls us through the poem.

  16. kayluala Says:

    Beautiful pics you have here,K! It was a sad episode though but most have come to terms with it now!

    Hank


  17. That is an emotionally compelling poem, given the context of Ground Zero and the tower rising there to take the place of the emptiness. The linebreaks work well too, subtly obscuring the end-words that would give away the structure. Well done.

  18. janehewey Says:

    you did wonderfully with this form. I admire your line breaks and your rhythm. had to wait until I wrote an attempt before reading yours and it led me to appreciate the movement and beauty in your poem all the more.

  19. seingraham Says:

    Such a powerful, poignant poem … and good use of the form as well – nicely done

    http://leapinelephants.blogspot.ca/2012/08/desperately-missing-you-who-are-gone.html

  20. ds Says:

    Oh, this is wonderful–the use of a form that is not (as hedgewitch said) formulaic–no see-saw of forced rhythm, that is, a poem that happens to be a tritina and not the other way around.
    Had my first view of the building last weekend from the Turnpike & was stunned. Have not been to Ground Zero; must change that.
    Thank you.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      You’re welcome. It’s become a huge tourist attraction actually. I live very close by and haven’t been to the memorial garden.

      For a few years, they had left standing the only stairwell that reached the ground from the top – they just had the bottom few stairs that had survived. There wasn’t a sign or anything but I found it very moving, because, well, I knew what it was. I don’t know where they have moved that now. Maybe it’s part of the garden, I don’t know. k.

  21. rmp Says:

    I can only imagine how interesting a site this must have been in reality. But you definitely brought the experience to life here. I like your use of both saw and led within this form.

    “for once, the site did not saw my chest in two” beautiful.


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