9/11 by Robert Pinsky Essay

1107 Words Feb 12th, 2007 5 Pages
Without falling into jingoism or being over-sentimental, Robert Pinsky's poem "9/11" generates a commendable ode to the spirit that drives this country, in addition to revealing the American culture for what it truly is – enthusiastic and frivolous, courageous and fallible, petty and resilient. For most Americans, September 10th is Before, and everything since is After.

Citizens from every state across the U.S. responded immediately to the attacks by giving blood and donating much-needed items to shelters, where an overwhelming amount of aid was sent to assist the itinerant victims. However, it's ironic that the American people – who were so benevolent and charitable for the populace of the 9/11 tragedy – would turn their backs on and
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This becomes a part of our strength to be unified as one, as well as our vulnerability to accentuate fallacies and thus fall apart:
"And mystic Masonic totems of the Founders:
The Eye of the Pyramid watching over us,
Hexagram of Stars protecting the Eagle's head

From terror of pox, from plague and radiation." (Lines 37-40)

The symbolism used above represents America's view of "invincibility" against outside forces; it confirms the belief that such a large and powerful nation is indestructible, and we hold this notion appreciatively in our minds that soon after the idealism becomes the "truth." Our impregnable "safety bubble" creates an arrogance that is fueled individual egoism. Only after the attacks on the World Trade Center, were Americans truly able to comprehend our own overconfidence and acknowledge it as a weakness, a wistful "gluttonous dreamy thriving" (lines 33-34). "In the movies we dream up, our captured heroes Tells the interrogator their commanding officer's name Is Colonel Donald Duck – he writes it down, code Of a lowbrow memory so assured it's nearly Aristocratic." (lines 12-16)

Common to the American way of life, film heroes are often portrayed as over-confident and arrogant, knowing full well that in the end, Good always triumphs over Evil. The "lowbrow memory," mentioned in line 15, alludes to the crudeness of American culture where

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