In the movie there is a scene showing the 9/11 attack. It's a moment in my life that I will never forget. Growing up in New York the city is very close to my heart and the experience of 9/11
is still very real to me.
On a happy note, the experience inspired me to write a poem a few years after, in a parody that simulates a famous poem "Chicago" by Carl Sandburg. Since it's a poem about Chicago I decided to change it up and write about New York. But let me rewind and explain what a parody is.
Basically you want to model your poem after the original poem. For example you would use the same rhythmic pattern, meter, structure, etc... Parody's are usually used to mock a poem, but I wrote a more serious poem.
By Carl Sandburg
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders;:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the g
unman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people, Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool maker, Stacker of Wheat
Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
And here is my poem.
The sleepless city
The narrow minded, freedom rider
The city of truth and lies
Hard headed, seamless, brave
Heart of America.
They tell me you are ignorant and stubborn for I have seen you turn your back upon travelers.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true. I have seen the gun shot wounds which you try so hard to hide beneath your tough outer core.
And they tell me you are blind and my reply is: I have seen what you can not. I see the shattered dreams of all who come to follow their heart.
And having answered so, I turn once more to those who snicker at this my city and I give them a snicker back and say to them, come show me another city where every day is a new beginning, a chance to find yourself, to pick up the pieces of a shattered life.
Where the songs in her soul are not kept inside but shared for all to hear.
Gentle as a new born kitten, but vigorous as a cactus plant, hard to get to know
But aren't we all?
Working, working, working
Under ashes of fallen spirits
She laughs with tears gleaming in her eyes
Laughing as she lifts up her green skirt to show off her long legs to the boys in white sailing into her harbor
Laughing at the young children riding the Ferris wheel at Toys' R' Us
Laughing at the love in skater's eyes holding hands while it begins to flake
Laughing, laughing oh this sleepless city, the narrow minded, freedom rider, city of truth and lies, hard headed, seamless, brave, the heart of America city, will follow her dreams in hope of a better tomorrow.
Now it's your turn! Find a poem you really love and write in a similar style. Happy writing :)