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September 11, 2001 — Writings and Images From DoubleTake 2001 Special Edition   Leave a comment

DoubleTake Collage blog

DoubleTake Special Edition Cover Photo by Kevin Bubriski: Top Right Photo by Peter Turnley, Bottom Right by Kevin Bubriski


OBITUARIES

These are no pages for the young,
who are better off in one another’s arms,

nor for those who just need to know
about the price of gold
or a hurricane that is ripping up the Keys. 

But eventually you may join
the crowed who turn here first to see
who has fallen in the night,
who has left a shape of air walking in their place.

Here is where the final cards are shown,
the age, the cause, the plaque of deeds,
and sometimes an odd scrap of news –
that she collected sugar bowls,
that he played solitaire without and clothes.

And the end is where the survivors
huddle under the tin roof of a paragraph,
as if they had escaped the flame of death. 

What better way to place a thin black frame
around the things of the morning –
the hand-painted cup,
the hemispheres of a cut orange,
the slant of sunlight on the table.

And often a most peculiar pair turns up,
strange roommates lying there
side by side on the page –
Arthur Godfrey next to Man Ray,
Bo Diddley by the side of Dale Evans.

It is enough to bring to mind an ark of death,
not the couples of the animal kingdom,
but rather pairs of men and women
ascending the gangplank two by two,

Surgeon and model,
balloonist and metalworker,
an archaeologist and an authority on pain.

Arm in arm, they get on board
then join the others leaning on the rails,
all saved at last from the awful flood of life –

So many of them every day
there would have to be many arks,
an armada to ferry the dead
over the heavy waters that roll beyond the world,

and many Noahs too,
bearded and fiercely browed,
vigilant up there at every prow.

— Billy Collins

CHILDREN’S EXPRESSIONS

“Yet again, as we considered what certain youngsters had to offer the eyes and ears of others, we recalled the words of a New Jersey pediatrician, William Carlos Williams, as recalled by his son, William Eric Williams, also a pediatrician of America’s Garden State, just south of the Manhattan skyline:

“Dad would come home from his house calls {to 9 Ridge Road, Rutherford, where both those does lived and practiced medicine} and he’d be excited, we could see — his face glowing with the light a kid had given him: something said, something drawn. He called those kids him teachers. ‘They don’t miss a trick, and there’s little that passes them by.’ We’d nod — glad to see and enjoy dad, the ever grateful student, saluting with all his heart the boys and girls, ‘the young writers and artists of America,’ he called them, who would always get him going so much.”

Sarah Himmel, fifth grade, Newman Elementary School, Needham, Massachustts

Sarah Himmel, fifth grade, Newman Elementary School, Needham, Massachusetts

Melanie Snow, fifth grade, Newman Elementary School, Needham, Massachusetts

Melanie Snow, fifth grade, Newman Elementary School, Needham, Massachusetts

Danny Beren, fifth grade, Newman Elementary School, Needham, Massachusetts

Danny Beren, fifth grade, Newman Elementary School, Needham, Massachusetts

Emily Smith, fifth grade, Newman Elementary School, Needham, Massachusetts

Emily Smith, fifth grade, Newman Elementary School, Needham, Massachusetts

All Images from the 2000 Special Edition of DoubleTake Magazine

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