After the planes unloaded, we fell down

Buried together, unmarried men and women;

Not crown of thorns, not iron, not Lombard crown,

Not grilled and spindle spires pointing to heaven

Could save us. Raise us, Mother, we fell down

Here hugger-mugger in the jellied fire:

Our sacred earth in our day was our curse.


Our Mother, shall we rise on Mary’s day

In Maryland, wherever corpses married

Under the rubble, bundled together? Pray

For us whom the blockbusters marred and buried;

When Satan scatters us on Rising-day,

O Mother, snatch our bodies from the fire:

Our sacred earth in our day was our curse.


Mother, my bones are trembling and I hear

The earths reverberations and the trumpet

Bleating into my shambles. Shall I bear,

(O Mary!) unmarried man and powder-puppet,

Witness to the Devil? Mary, hear

O Mary, marry earth, sea, air and fire;

Our sacred earth in our day is our curse. 

Robert Lowell (1917-1977) was an American poet.

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