This Poem was Submitted By: Mark D. Kilburn On Date: 2003-09-11 17:50:27 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Shadow of Greatness

           We the infinitesimal few of the millions            of blue and white collar workers,            comprising the very backbone             of this still grieving nation,            can only watch in awe            these great and valiant giants               emerging from the ash and rubble            of  this, dark and painful hour.            Giants making the ultimate sacrifice            before our reddened eyes,            so unselfishly saving their fellow Americans.            Giants deservedly earning each and every             veneration bestowed upon them.            Their immeasurable acts of heroism            our only light on this            murderous day of darkness.              Our naivety and innocence taken            as well as countless innocents            by some indiscernible evilness            bent on terror for evil’s sake.             This unseemly act of mammoth cowardice            perpetrated by those who despise             any form of life and liberty.            Stand united and fast America.                 Stand alert and protected in the shadow            cast by the heroic giants who answer the call             day and night,  with willingness and             determination regardless of  the dangers.            The blue sky, red flames, white ash and black smoke             searing unforgettably, into our world’s conscience.             Stand together, and our unity will make us indivisible            and indelible from sea to shining sea.                                                                                                         

Copyright © September 2003 Mark D. Kilburn

This Poem was Critiqued By: Jordan Brendez Bandojo On Date: 2003-10-05 14:48:36
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.80645
Mark, If the title speaks about the shadow of greatnesss, this poem is in itself the shadow of a great work! I salute to your ideas that awakens and gives hope and inspiration to everyone here on earth especially those who are affected greatly by the Sept 11 event! In as much as I like the significance of the theme, I like the way you presented the ideas by the use of equisitely apt language/words that of course creative. The good point is it promomtes compensation of the gravity of the seriousness of the poem. I mean the laguage reinforces the compelling impact of the theme. To begin the shadow of my trivial (SMILE!!), the introcuction effectively presents the area of people who is greatly affected by the tremendously gruesome event, and these people are in fact play the central part building the backbone: We the infinitesimal few of the millions of blue and white collar workers, comprising the very backbone of this still grieving nation, I like the introductory sound of the fricative 'f' in infinitesimal/few. You just have said the correct the description that creates the clear imagery: emerging from the ash and rubble of this, dark and painful hour. The giants represents the great people who unselfishly sacrificed to try to bring back the previous good state and the alleviate the pains of the destructions. Their immeasurable acts of heroism our only light on this murderous day of darkness....yes! They should be given more than a wreath of laurel and more laudable honor! In the third stanza, I appreciate the description of the nation being naive and innocent but it suggests a leap to a great potentiality like a youth can have as much as potentiality to offer. The line "Stand united and fast America." is participating! But if we use the exclamation instead of the period, it would be more! Just a trivial comment on this gigantic piece! Allright, this poem just said it all, the awakening, the preparation to be more alert, the inspiration and finally the hope! Stand together, and our unity will make us indivisible and indelible from sea to shining sea. Working together, united we stand! It suggests us to share a little together with these giants and we can turn the sea to a shining sea! A very hopeful ending! Thank you very much for sharing! No wonder this poem is on the winner's list. Allow me to support it! (SMILE)! Peace, Jordan

This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas H. Smihula On Date: 2003-10-01 10:57:45
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.53846
Well thoughtout poem with great description. You have power behind this piece in showing that these historical locations have strengthened our nation. You show us truth by indicating the cowardice of those behind the destruction. What I especially like about this piece for the September 11th episode is the way you show our nation as young and innocent showing the characteristic of a infant nation which we our in history's standard. Excellent selection of words within the writing so all understand its meaning. This is written for all not just a select few. My favorite stanza is your third. Well done and thanks for sharing. Tom
This Poem was Critiqued By: Gary A Wilmot On Date: 2003-09-23 09:38:52
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Hi Mark This is a valiant tribute to the true heroes of every day,those who selflessly risk life to save others.One good thing that came out of the rubble of 911 was the re-emergence of the firefighters,paramedics,and police as respected role models for the young. Atlast a break from the violent action figures of soldiers and pro-wrestlers on Saturday morning T.V. ads.(Too bad the exemplary hero status of those serving to help others,and not killing and destroying,was so short lived). "We... can only watch in awe these great and valiant giants emerging from the ash and rubble of this, dark and painful hour." Very well stated.The haunting image here,is imprinted on the minds of all who witnessed the noble acts of the firefighters and paramedics on that fateful day " so unselfishly saving their fellow Americans". "Stand united and fast America. Stand alert and protected in the shadow cast by the heroic giants who answer the call day and night, with willingness and determination regardless of the dangers." Words of strength and determination that remind us of the unwavering resolve to help our "brothers and sisters" in need.You captured the essence of the invaluable lessons learned by all who witnessed the heroic acts. "The blue sky, red flames, white ash and black smoke searing unforgettably, into our world’s conscience. Stand together, and our unity will make us indivisible and indelible from sea to shining sea. " You were able to express the connection felt by millions on that tragic day. I believe Woody Guthrie would have understood.Thank you for sharing.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2003-09-15 10:27:02
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.77778
Very powerful Mark, filled with heart......your emotions speak the truth and will touch the hearts of many who read....a poem that should be shared by those in service to this great nation of ours for they too shall be aware of the importance of the people involved here.....there are those that remain behind and were fortunate in their escape as they helped others to escape the falling debris, metal, ash, black smoke that encircled the entire area and the white ash that was a reminder that no one escapes but the dust......this piece in its personal power can relate to 9-11-01 and the war our men and women served in and are still serving in.....the pain felt reflects is so prescious to most of us and then we have those that can not care for if they did these horrible acts would not be taking place world wide.....we pray for peace to come to not only our Nation but to the world little girl here, one little girl in a poverty stricken country so far apart yet the same....both needing to have a family, mom, dad, brother sister and the most without love peace cannot be joined together. Thank you for posting this outstanding piece which I am sure will make the top of the list again this month. Congratulations on your win my certainly were on my list last month. Till next time, be safe, continue with your visions and God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2003-09-14 20:58:44
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.60000
Hi Mark, Out of all the poems and writings about 9-11 that I have read I do believe this one is the most stirring. Your choice of words..."backbone, grieving nation, valiant giants, ash, rubble, sacrifice, evilness, cowardice, give so much strength and passion to this piece. It is a compelling read...and I have read it several times just to make sure I have not missed a word and it affects me the same way each time. I have a grandson in the service who is somewhere in that unforgiving piece of the world that assualts our young people with sand, heat, no sanitation, loneliness, fear, and death. Sometimes, when I allow myself to think about it, I ask, how can his be happening? Where does such evil and hate come can human beings be so cruel as to intentially wound and kill their fellow man. Heavens knows I don't have the answer and perhaps God is the only one that does. This is such an important poem and I am glad you posted it here for all of us to read. The last stanza, thankfully, gives hope to the reader as it tells us to stand together and unity will make us strong..."from sea to shining sea." Pray for Peace...Marilyn
This Poem was Critiqued By: Andrea M. Taylor On Date: 2003-09-12 15:42:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.33333
Mark, One would be remiss in not commenting on this. I found myself involed in the read more as if it were a great editorial. This doesn't mean it is less than poetry, but speaks volumes for the silenced hearts and the broken ones of two years ago. The broken ones carry on. It brings us back to the red stripes for the blood shed during our infancy in world history. The blue of the sky to be shared by the free and the not so free. Our stars may have gained numbers, but our ideals have not changed. Our heros of everyday are acknowledged and are given a reassurance of our gratitude. As each stanza finishes, the next compliments it. The title is interesting. All too often we do shawdow true greatness by being comfortable with knowing it is there. A very deep, moving and meaningful read. I thank you for sharing it. Andrea
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2003-09-12 12:41:04
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.90000
Hello Mark, like many I too thought of all the heroic deeds completeted to the best of each individual abilities. At first I thought of all the innocent humans, including children and babies, who never even got a chance st life, to be sacrificed by men who have no regard in the beauty of life, but as soley bent on sacrificing themselves in the light of upholding a releigion, that's interperted to me, no regard for life, their idea of weishop is so foriegn to Western concepts, the Romans willinging sacrificed innocent human beings trying to purge a religion, Hitler and his minons also tried to whip of a segment as sacrifical, what?, for what purpose, did all these men think they could suceed, do these men think that we'll be defeated, by their intimidation, and scare tactics, the terrorism, the willness to sacrifice other the gain their goal. It's all doomed for them, for the creator, regardless of religious dogma is only one creator for all of mankind, and he cries tears for us that with all the tools he provided human kind with is being aborted by so far. Will it end, yes, eventually, but there will be many dead innocents, along with these so called worriors who are willing to die, for a convulted belief. As long as there is one brave fireman, policeman, or the oridnary man/woman this uninvited war of terrorism will be battled, by man/women being the brave deeds already established by every being who has done the right thing, giving up their lives to do the right thing, but the irony these people continue to do the right thing, and they should never, never be forgotten, the way of the world has changed, there arn't any barriers to protect a given country, and we all better understand, that tolorance and understanding, and respect is the way to go, not take out the sword and threaten. War in whatever form will be fought in all times, those of the past and the future to come. As long as we have those hores to set an example there is hope for civilization. Yes, they run into burning buildings that can collasp at any time, but they still do it, that's the goodness of mankind, they provide the example of being a true compassionate, caring human being, willing to face dire odd they still go. What better example of goodness in behalf of other humans. I won't even speak to the pledges they take to perform a duty, because in spite of that oath, they go, for the love of people, those they might help. We lost 334 firfighters and emergency personal in the Worl Trade Center, and 3,000 toral human lives in all the plane eposides on September 11, all bave courageous people, and I will never forget, and the mental images that flood my senses has been difficuklt to deal with, the babies, and very young children, and Moms and Dads, sister and brothers, cousin, friends who shared a horrible fate, all heroes, but we know and understand their abject fright, knowing those plans were bombs and they would die, so unfair, so cruel and selfish, my mind whirls thinking about the fright all felt when their worls caved in on them, deliberate, cruel, un human acts of mankind, did they really become martyers? I don't know, God is an forgiving God, but what they did was no different then all cruel, inhumane acts against mankind, that are even happing in world today. Of yes, the world has chasnged, and the shame one has to procure a weapon to protect themselves from inhuman acts. The poem so fitting, and well laid out, and speaks the complete intention, the kind of poem that makes the reader resee many issues, most of all for me, you relate the sadness of it all, yet pay homage to all the heroes. Another great submission. To be able to take so many topics and write with a clarity, that bonds all our feeling, in a rush of rememberance, now that takes a skilled writer, you are that writer. Best regards, Jo Morgan
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