Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Poetic Musings: Empty Chairs Haiku by Jack Galmitz

in Bryant Park
2,753 empty chairs

not a breath of air

yards & lots

Jack Galmitz

There is no human figure or voice in the haiku, whose Ls 2&3 are separated by two blank lines.

The first two lines refer to a sea of empty seats, 2,753 in all, flooding the lawn of Bryant Park in surging waves of loss and grief on Friday, September 9, 2011, two days before the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. This unforgettably poignant exhibition used one empty chair to represent one 9/11 victim at the World Trade Center, and 35 rows of empty chairs completely covering the lawn faced south towards the fallen Twin Towers. The third line in the poem painfully evokes a persistent absence, indicating that this haunting exhibit was a visual reminder of the loss. Galmitz’s thematically effective use of blank space adds emotional weight and psychological depth to the poem.

1 comment:

  1. The haiku above is the third one on the September 11 attacks in Jack's yards & lots. I also wrote a review of his award-winning haiku (the opening haiku of his book), which can be accessed at