Shadow War: A Poetic Chronicle of September 11 and Beyond, Volume One

(Revised, second edition)


by Louis Daniel Brodsky


A Vision

Last night, in a numinous throe,
I wrote a strange poem,
Envisioned myself obliterated in Hiroshima
That August day back in 1945,
When America unleashed a swift sword
Against once-proud samurai Japan.
For the life of me, I couldn’t understand
Why I’d been chosen to compose it,
Be its conduit between silence and violence.

How could I have imagined, let alone known,
That such acts of homicide and suicide
Would come to pass, this morning,
At the World Trade Center, the Pentagon?
I couldn’t, and yet evoking Hiroshima
Seems to have been a premonition,
A prophecy by Nostradamus,
A promise of plague from Revelation,
A devastation from God or Satan.

9/11/01

 

Use the player below to listen to Louis Daniel Brodsky read this poem.

 



Summary:

September 11, 2001, will never be forgotten. So much changed so quickly — our sense of security, our national identity, our trust in the continuity of civilization itself. A bewildering mixture of shock, fear, vulnerability, sorrow, anger, and resolve overtook the United States after the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists.

In the fifty poems of Shadow War, Volume One, Louis Daniel Brodsky chronicles the events of that infamous day and the seven and a half weeks that followed, proclaiming both rallying cries and protestations. Free of political agenda, Brodsky immerses us in a chaos of conflicting attitudes and emotions. While many of the poems express patriotic indignation toward America’s enemies, some show anger with America itself — its complacency, materialism, and insularity. Several evoke genuine ecumenical sentiments, a desire for people of all faiths to unite, while others are cynical, irreverent, ironic, and absurd.

We emerge from this diversity with a provocative and compelling portrait of perhaps the most confusing, yet reflective, time America has ever experienced.



Praise:

Shadow War is full of powerful, clear-eyed, honest reactions to what has become of our country and its place in the world . . . I like the way Brodsky negotiates the uncertainty, the lack of real answers, in these poems, and the ways (as in the poem "'I Love Pakistan'" — a fine one) politicians use rhetoric to blind and confuse. "Where is America?" is a terrific response, by the way; the tone is just right.
— Jay Parini, author of The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems

 

In the poems of Shadow War, Louis Daniel Brodsky chronicles the events of that infamous day and the weeks and months that followed, proclaiming both rallying cries and protestations. Free of political agenda, Brodsky immerses us in a chaos of conflicting attitudes and emotions. While many of the poems express patriotic indignation toward America’s enemies, some show anger with America itself — its complacency, materialism, and insularity. Several evoke genuine ecumenical sentiments, a desire for people of all faiths to unite, while others are cynical, irreverent, ironic, and absurd.
— Ellen Tanner Marsh, New York Times bestselling author

 

. . . readers can become engaged in this poet’s timely volumes in which he faces and weighs the assault on the Trade Towers and draws the changes it wrought and continues to bring about in the American psyche and American society.
— Small Press Book Review






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