Ben Lerner’s “Didactic Elegy”
“It is difficult to differentiate between the collapse of the towers / and the image of the towers collapsing.”
“The key is to intend as little as possible in the act of memorialization. / By intending as little as possible we refuse to assign value where there is none. / Violence is not yet modern; it fails to acknowledge the limitations of its medium. / When violence is aware of its mediacy and loses its object it will begin to resemble love. / Love is negative because it dissolves / all particulars into an experience of form. / Refusing to assign meaning to an event is to interpret it lovingly. ”
Ten years later, 9/11 is being remembered in uncountable ways. One of the best poems written in its wake, Ben Lerner’s “Didactic Elegy,” was published in his 2006 book Angle of Yaw and was first printed here, in the second issue of Typo.