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American Pain


The other night at karaoke I heard someone sing American Pie by Don McLean. Although I don’t own the song, it is one of my favorites in regards to heavy lyrical meaning. Legend has it my father once wrote an essay describing the meaning behind each line and according to him, his teacher didn’t like the essay despite his logical presentation. Here is a website that breaks down the song as I would assume his essay did years earlier.

Ten years ago, I wrote a poem inspired by American Pie in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. Like my dad’s essay, my poem was not well-received. When I submitted during a poetry class I was taking that semester, it was widely panned by my professor and my fellow classmates. Upset, I met with the professor after the class at his office to discuss the issue and nearly dropped the class because of my views on my poem. I kept the class but refused to edit the poem and submitted another in the poetry portfolio I had to submit at the end of the semester.

Anyway, here it is. Let me know what you think.

Many days have past since we last met
And I’ve tried to pay off all my debts
To a world I’m not sure has much left
Is that why we sit and drink our lives away?

It all started when that old wall fell
And the great bear took a walk through hell
Its satellites drank from freedom’s well
How much higher did the eagle fly that day?

Not guilty were those who beat the King
A new overcome did they sing
Angels flew from their city with burnt wings
When will we not let color cloud our eyes?

Over the sea to fight on foreign soil
A war they claimed was for more than oil
Mother of all wars easily foiled
In an arcade war, can you lose real lives?

A veteran against his government
Many children playing died innocent
Scar on the Murrow more than Ryder sent
What patriot tries to hurt his country?

Hatred caused terror with its little knives
And the son rose when death came from the skies
As we saw it live through TV eyes
Does it always cost so much to be free?


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