Found Poetry Prompt: September 11

World Trade Center

Next Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and in the upcoming week, people will be remembering and recounting where they were on September 11, 2001.

This week’s prompt is September 11 poetry.

This week, write a found poem inspired by a source relating to the 9/11 attacks. We highly recommend the 9/11 narratives hosted online by the Library of Congress as a starting source. Click on one of the links below, then select “View Text” on the resulting page.

Another potential source is the 9/11 Commission Report, available online for free.

As always, we invite you to share your poems or links to your poems in the comments section below.


  • […] our last Found Poetry post we mentioned the Found Poetry Review, which is now inviting found poems on the subject of September 11. As possible source material for found text, the site offers a list of narratives related to the […]

  • […] at The Found Poetry Review they are asking us to focus on 9/11. No matter the degree to which you were or were not affected, […]

    • September 10, 2011

      Douglas O. Raleigh

      Twin Towers – September 11th

      For most of us
      Lies quietly in shadow
      Discreetly out of view
      Though our bones know it’s there.

      In the papers, someone dies
      Or an aunt in West Ohio
      Who’d been sick for such a while
      It’s okay in little pinpricks
      Punctuations in life’s text.

      But two buildings full of people!
      Death now multiplexed in concrete
      Life and the buildings
      Fall away as one
      Cathedrals of screams
      Vast temples of termination.

      We see nothing on TV
      But the buildings falling madly
      The anguish inside them
      Unseen, unheard
      As each vertical avalanche travels
      To engulf all the beings within.

      What’s it like, life to death in an instant
      As they merge with the plaster and steel?
      Do they sleep, do they wake, do they travel?
      Do they see a new view of what’s real?

      Will it all be all right in the Cosmos
      For so many, terminated so soon?
      Do their ghosts inhabit the rubble?
      Do they look for the 5:18 home?

      Present flips into past every moment
      And while mostly the passage is smooth
      Comes a time when it happens like thunder
      Discontinuous beyond belief.

      A tall building’s exquisite order
      Turns to chaos in the blink of an eye.
      The structures of both families and buildings
      Wrench violently, and are gone.

      But we live, we who sat here and watched this
      Mortality once again for someone else.
      But the bones of our bones know better
      Death has struck, and will strike again.

      Douglas O. Raleigh, September 2002

  • September 15, 2011

    Abigail Screen

    I am thankful to God above, or higher force,
    For all the many things missed,
    The many gorges under our feet we dawdle over,
    Blindly, ignorantly, and somehow blissfully avoid,
    The landmines we should so easily trip,
    The tigers in the bushes, for who would our bare throats slit,

    Today I am thankful that a full decade past,
    I so young and far away should miss,
    That burning carnage that lost 2,976,
    That ripped so many from normality,
    To the dank and crushing rubble,
    To the fire that lost 2,976,

    Who knew a September sun that ever burned so dull?

    Yes I am thankful to be a lucky soul that missed,

    I only know what I have been told,
    I have only seen what I have been shown,
    Through paper or television screen,
    So call me ignorant to talk of such things,
    But know this, I am glad,
    I am glad to be ignorant,
    To know now nothing of that cold, cold fire,
    That burns, and burns and burns,
    The fire that spreads like disease in the belly of those so full of hate,
    That had no right to decide others fate,

    But remember,
    The fire that burns in the heart of those who destroyed,
    That shook the Earth in a single day,
    Burned too in the hearts of the brave,
    Use the rage the anger and the pain,
    Use the love that burns and consumes,
    Love for your mother and your father,
    Your family and friends, love for your children,
    Love for your neighbour, love for your fellow man,
    Anger and compassion, anguish and pride,
    That same fire burned in the hearts that came forth from the destruction,
    The best of humanity, to fight, to save, to love,

    Who knew while that September sun could burn so dull?
    A fire so fierce and bright,
    Could find its way through darkness,
    And in men’s hearts, ignite.

  • April 12, 2012


    wow abigail that poem is powerful! Great prompt idea as well 😉