Read This Emotional Poem For The Tenth Anniversary Of Hurricance Katrina
This week marked the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in American history. Well over a million people along the Gulf Coast were displaced by Katrina, and it's still unclear all these years later exactly how many people died. Now, one decade since the storm struck, countless people are remembering the victims of the hurricane and reflecting on the heavy toll it took. And if you're looking for something touching and creative on this week of sad remembrance, this might do the trick: an emotional poem written for the Katrina anniversary.
It was reported on by Chris Granger of the Times-Picayune, and while taste in art is about as subjective as it gets, it feels particularly appropriate. The poem was reportedly written by a Louisiana attorney named Marie Bookman and was performed at the start of Saturday's ceremony. There were a number of high-profile people in attendance, including Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Governor Bobby Jindal.
The text of Bookman's poem is transcribed below, as it was recited on Saturday. If you'd like to hear it read aloud (not by Bookman herself, but by poet Tommy Myrick), you can find audio of the performance here.
It came with a force like none other. Sweeping our city clean with its windful winds and it's wet blends, oh, she took us on a spin. Raining non-stop, pounding rooftops, and then, like a mighty push, like Hercules and the Incredible Hulk, oh it shook the levees until they came apart. No sand, no dirt, no metal frame could stop what happened with that hurricane. Like a runner on a marathon, it raced through our city, unleashing its urging, turning them into surges, from the river to the lake. Moving cars down city streets, taking houses off of their foundation, an abbreviation of our time never seen in this city or state. And the nation awake. A destroyer of our space. Like a nuclear bomb it exploded. Effecting all in its way, forcing evacuations like none other in this day. By boat, by plane, by helicopter, the National Guards descended, while our soldiers shipped away to faraway lands watched in disbelief, as they defend another man's land.
As Granger notes, and as is heard in the audio of the poem's recitation, it segues into a pretty stirring rendition of Peace Be Still, a centuries-old spiritual song popularized by the Reverend James Cleveland in 1963. All in all, it's a pretty evocative performance, and you're unlikely to find a better time to reflect on the 2005 hurricane — or its epic mishandling and the harrowing circumstances that followed — than right now.