March 25, 2011

Triangle Remembered: "IMAGINING THE HORSE"

Today being the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, I am going to push the limits of fair use by reprinting a second poem from Chris Llewellyn's magnificent Fragments from the Fire, a poetic reflection on the tragedy, first published in 1987 and now regrettably out of print. I urge FotM readers in the strongest possible terms to track a used copy down on the Internet. These two poems (the first is here) give only a taste of the power of the whole.


Captain Meehan's Horse, Yale,
was the first to arrive on the scene.

My name is Yale. At first:
Hail of cinders.
Glass. Fire bells.
Falling bales and
timbers. Blood-smell.

Tarp-covered mounds.
Waterfalls from windows.
Hoses tangled in bundles.
Gutters red to fetlocks.

Block and tackle.
Gray men in lines.
Stacks on wagons.

Slow pull up Broadway
to Fourteenth to Fourth Avenue to
Twenty-third. Clanging. Wailing.
Twenty-sixth pier.

The Sun has dropped
her mares and foals.
Plentiful as flies.
Wrapped in rows.

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