wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                            HOME

September 11, 2001
Poems in the shadow of the terror attacks.

The original September 11, 2001 poem was written to be read to our congregation at St John's church, West Ealing, London, on the Sunday following 9/11. The day after, prompted by a remark from a friend who had read it to a Sikh family, I made a shorter version comprising just the last two sections, to be more accessible to people outside the church. I emailed it to various friends, and it circulated from there. 

The complete version appeared in Third Way in November 2001 and the poem has been published widely in whole or part in print and on the Web. A short passage from the closing section was incorporated into the Archbishop of Canterbury’s talk at the memorial service for British victims in Westminster Abbey.

The poem was called "September 11, 2001" from the beginning, but has been published under various titles including "What kind of story is this?".

An updated version produced for the tenth anniversary was read at St John's on September 11, 2011. 


September 11, 2001 (short version) 
September 11, 2001 (complete version)
September 11, 2001 (tenth anniversary complete version)