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A Reminiscence of the War on Terror


A beautiful lady with great light shining a path toward a better world
“Follow thy innocence and early youth”, she declares
She proclaims herself the key, to unlock the vehicle in which we all may drive
the highway toward freedom
Amidst the flames of Hades and tribulations we face her voice repairs-
So long ago her marriage to us was arranged in a battle against tyranny–
Now our enemies attack but with respect to her beauty they refrain, Why?-
Could her symbolism be theirs, could we have forgotten her through negligence?
Like a wife in a male dominated world that uses her charm to effect their husband, she states,
“should we not remember the worth of reason to die?”
Now many must die, as we battle to another rather than remain and fight-
Our lady and wife does not travel with us, she remains, inured from the sounds of the march
she knew from tyrants many years ago before her wedding on this soil–
Behind the scenes she must stay without uttering word within politics, yet she knows truth in how her husbands have disgraced her household to provoke- Now the less favored children of her household must go to another land to fight
Not in a Cold War, a Drug war, a War on Crime, a War on Terror,
nor for freedom,but for oil-

I have written this poem in the style of Emily Dickinson but with the patriotic fervor of Walt Whitman. In this poem I speak of the original impetus for the creation of the United States of America, which is freedom from oppression. Throughout the poem I have references to the “American Revolution” including the marching of the British on U.S. soil. Most importantly, I not only refer to the “American Revolution” but I alos refer to the current situation of our efforts in the Middle East and the event of “September 11th”. Although these are important topics of references within my poem, the poem centers around the symbolic reverence held toward the creation of this country, which is the “Statue of Liberty”. This symbol not only entails the fact that it was a gift from the French but it is a symbol that this country understands what freedom and liberty are and it also symbolizes the trust by others in the world that this country be recognized as bearers of those qualities. Somehow we have swayed away from those original intentions recently behind wars that have taken our young and poor people whom comprise of the majority of the military. These wars caused by our foreign policy and exacerbated by certain presidential administrations such as the Bush administration that filters info to the American public so as the entire truth from both perspectives of opposition are not told.

The style of Dickinson is adhered to in so far as the rhyming of the second verses’ last words in the second and fourth lines of prose. For example, in one of Dickinson’s poems she writes:

The Soul selects her own Society’
Then’shuts the Door’
To her divine Majority’
Presents no more’

I chose one of the many forms of her rhyming in which her style often alternates this sequence from first to third lines and so on. Another aspect of Dickinson’s style that I have copied into my poem is the use of the – after certain verses. Although it is debatable now what she intended in those lines, I have used them in my poem for different reasons. I used one – to refer to historical references to September 11th and two — to refer to the American Revolution.

In trying to convey my message to the audience, I also embraced the fact that the “Statue of Liberty” is a woman. As I describe this symbol of our country, I also use the facts of gender bias toward women to progress my thoughts. Such as a wife using charm to run her households because in a male dominated society, men have for a long time and still today in some families suppose their word is the gospel within a household. Does it matter if the wife knows the husband is wrong? I think it does and it should. I also state the fact that women have always been disallowed from participating in politics or their participation is inequitable compared to the number of men within politics. I still to this day have told others that I will begin to accept the possible elimination of racism and gender bias within this country when I see a minority or female president. Until then, I will always be open eyed and accepting to the fact that those horrible aforementioned plagues to our culture are still existent and alive. I only hope that I may live long enough to see a generation of our kids make this monumental event occur. However, this use of gender bias and exclusion of mentioning of the exclusion of women from pertinent roles in society coincides with my assertion that some of our own rational and freedom loving patriots whom understand the original intentions of the creation of this country are excluded from the positions of power where they may contribute like women. Like the “Statue of Liberty”, these patriots are here in the U.S., yet as evident with our current course have taken a role of symbolism rather than application. In the spirit of Whitman, I have used poetry to remind the constituents of this country amidst conflict to think for themselves rather than be blinded and silenced into a “Statue of Liberty”.


Siraj Davis



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