Boston Bombing and National Poetry Month

Welcome to Amazing Words Wednesday, the day we enter the labyrinth of language and see what we can discover. April is National Poetry Month, and my original plan for this post was to share some of my own poetry.

Boston Marathon Bombing Scene
By Aaron Tang, via Wikimedia Commons

But on Tuesday, the Boston Marathon was disrupted by the explosion of two bombs, the deaths of three people, and injuries of up to 176 people. When terror and tragedy strike, how do we respond?

With tears, courage, help, heartache, encouragement, and prayers. And for some, with poetry.

Poems capture all kinds of observations, ideas, and emotions, and in the wake of crisis, poetry can express our deepest wounds and hopes.

Below, I share excerpts of poems about the Boston Marathon Bombing posted online. You can see each full poem by clicking on the attribution below the excerpt.

The crowd cheers on,
A blur of colours towards the finish line,
That one moment of glory.
Two puffs of smoke,
A panicked crowd,
Running for life not honor.
Bright colours turn to dark.

yobial3, Love, Pain and Other Catastrophes


A light has gone out
A small fluttering light
Snuffed by a fierce wind and fire
Blown out

dedicated to the 8-year-old boy who lost his life


Now is the time
Almost more than ever
Remind everybody
To never say never
Several people are hurt past repair
A cold feeling of fear and terror in the air

We’ve been here before
You want to ignore
But it’s true
And we’ll do what we’ll do
To get through
It together

BENeficial Poetry, read aloud on YouTube


Boston Marathon Finish Line 2012
Boston Marathon Finish Line 2012
By BU Interactive News, via Wikimedia Commons

The finish line waits
Many will cross
A marathon run
Count the cost

Ready yourself
Prepare for the day
Gather your courage
Be on your way

Run the race
Feel the burn
One step closer
One more turn

Spectators cheer
See the finish line
Confidence rises
“Victory is mine”

A quake, a blast
Fire and smoke
Legs buckle
Throats choke

Cut-heart chaos
Bodies torn
A good day ended
A bad day born

Terror and tears
Here intertwine
And three cross
The ultimate finish line

Full poem by me

Songs are often poetry set to music. Since I want to end on a positive note, here’s a wonderful song about Boston. Today, we are all Bostonians–our hearts with our fellow Americans or simply humans. We celebrate your spirit and pray for your healing.

Have you ever penned a poem in response to a crisis or tragedy? If you’re willing to share a few lines, please do. Have you seen any other poems or songs about the bombing? How did you respond when you heard the news?

16 thoughts on “Boston Bombing and National Poetry Month

  1. Great post Julie! My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I hope that poetry like this will help them through this disaster and hopefully find some peace.

  2. Poetry is akin to music… even when it is obscure, it is universal. It speaks to our souls as opposed to our minds. It speaks to our “hearts”. Yes, I’ve used poetry for this sort of catharsis. I’m glad that some people have found comfort in the form too. Healing comes in many forms, but it’s always best when people can heal themselves without wounding others.

  3. “And three cross the ultimate finish line.” That line is both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

    After Gabby Giffords was shot, I wrote a poem – in my head, not on paper – about the young man who saved her life by administering first aid. It was about how heroes do not exist. They’re just regular people doing the right thing, as all humans should strive to do. I still haven’t written it down. Poetry is difficult for me because each word should be placed like a puzzle piece, and I often struggle with that sort of precision.

    Thank you for sharing, Julie. It makes me want to try fitting that poem together again.

  4. Julie, what a beautiful memorial to those who suffered in the Boston Marathon bombing. I’ve penned poems in crisis…after a miscarriage, after a loved one’s passing, after 9-11.

    On a less somber note, I’ve nominated your blog for The Sunshine Award because generally, today’s post aside, your words leave me smiling from ear-to-ear. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend.

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