[There aren't many poems that even ambiguously refer to 9/11-- are the towers in this poem the twin towers or ivory towers or even Yeats' tower?-- that stand as real poems, not polemics or mere political statements or slight, empty husks that rely on an emotional association on the part of the reader instead of doing the work of a poem. McHugh's poem is an exception... and not the only one.]
“From the Towers”
Insanity is not a want of reason.
It is reason’s overgrowth, a calculating kudzu.
Explaining why, in two-ton manifesti, thinkers sally forth
with testaments and pipe bombs. Heaven help us:
spare us all your meaningful designs. Shine down or
shower forth, but (for the earthling’s sake) ignore
all prayers followed by against, or for. Teach us to bear
life’s senselessness, our insignificance, and more;
let’s call that sanity. The terrifying prospect isn’t some
escapist with a novel, fond of comfort, munching sweets—
it is the busy hermeneut, so serious he’s sour, intent on making
meaning of us all, and bursting from the towers to the streets.
from Poetry (March 2008)