Cocoanut Grove, one of Ron Slate’s recently published poems, appears in today’s Washington Post, where he writes:
I found a reason to return to the story after reading Adam Zagajewski’s essential poem “Try to Praise the Mutilated World,” which appeared in the New Yorker soon after the World Trade Center attacks. The speaker of that wonderful lyric implores us to remember the world’s ruined beauty. Adam’s poem not only provoked me to answer, but pointed to something not yet articulated. I wrote my poem as if in dialogue with his, and also as if my daughters were listening in.
All poets, nay all writers, are rememberers. Just how do we choose to commemorate loss, the personal inseparable from the communal, in the face of catastrophe? What is authentic, what false? Ron asks us to reflect on the nature of our acts of retelling, recording, reliving; encoding.
You can read the Zagajewski poem here (New Yorker link subscription only).