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U.K.'s Armitage pens epic 9/11 poem

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LONDON, Sep 3, 2006 (UPI via COMTEX) -- British poet Simon Armitage wrote a tearjerker for the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, making him a top contender to become Britain's poet laureate.

The Sunday Times of London said the poem features a fictional British trader who is trapped in one of the World Trade Center twin towers as the hijacked planes strike. It will be read by Rufus Sewell, star of "Rock 'n' Roll," Sir Tom Stoppard's hit West End play, on Sept. 11.

"I wanted to do something which was both commemorative and elegiac, but not political," Armitage told The Times.

Sewell will read the poem, titled "Out of the Blue," against a backdrop of a stock trader's office and actual footage of the horrific day. Memories from victims' families will also be featured.

The poem begins with the trader embarking on what he thinks will be another ordinary day: "Up with the lark, downtown New York. The sidewalks, the blocks. Walk. Don't Walk. Walk. Don't Walk."

When the doomed trader realizes there is no hope of his survival, the poem continues: "Do you see me, my love. I am flagging. Flagging."

Britain's next poet laureate will be announced in 2008.


Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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