Bikeman: An Epic Poem

Bikeman: An Epic Poem

by Thomas F. Flynn

On September 11, 2001, journalist Tom Flynn set off on his bike toward the World Trade Towers not knowing what he was riding into.

Both heartbreaking and haunting, his words will stay with you like that 'forever September morning.'" --Meredith Vieira, NBC's TodayTom Flynn brings to his subject three invaluable attributes: the eye of a seasoned journalist, the soul of a poet, and his stunning, first-hand experience of that horrific day."--David Friend, Vanity FairFrom Bikeman:The dead from here are my forever companions I am their pine box, their marble reliquary, their bronze urn, the living, breathing coffin they never had, their final resting place without a stone.

I move on at peace.Modeled on Dante's Inferno, veteran journalist Thomas Flynn's Bikeman chronicles the morning of September 11, 2001 like no other published work.

Flynn delivers a personal account of his experiences beginning with the first strike on the World Trade Center when he decided to follow his journalist's instinct and point his bike's handlebars in the direction of the north tower.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Poetry
  • Rating: 3.97
  • Pages: 96
  • Publish Date: August 1st 2008 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Isbn10: 0740775596
  • Isbn13: 9780740775598

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Flynn uses Dantes Inferno as inspiration for style and form in translating the unspeakable experiences of that day into free verse that allow the reader to believe he knows what it was like in lower Manhattan on what Flynn calls this forever September morning. We walk next to Flynn and his bicycle as he watches the first tower collapse and during his panicked flight from the scene. We wait with him in a parking garage buried in the rubble and take every dust-laden step that carries him away the inferno. Although some may believe that poetry isnt for everyone, that it eludes a common dominator that popular culture does not, that it is best kept for academia in its ivory towers or elitists secure in the supposition that their reading habits elevate them above the mythical common man, I dont agree. Take for example, the cantos dealing with Flynns observations between the planes strike and the towers collapse. In the days and weeks to come, Flynn passes the pictures of the missing, all labeled Have you seen . Flynn devotes a significant part of the poem to his initial shelter in nearby parking garage as he flees the boiling/brimstone avalanche cascading from the tower. There is no light as the dust clouds force a small group further into the garage.

The reader, like Thomas, is there for the most intimate moment in the life of a stranger: I am witness to this and embarrassed. At just over seventy pages, Bikeman is a quick read, but a lasting experience. Flynns words and the images that they evoke will stay with the reader long after the last page has been turned.

What started out as a bike ride to cover the attack continued as one tower fell and Thomas found himself caught in the middle of the death and destruction. -As the South Tower collapses, Thomas is trapped in a tomb disguised as a sanctuary and suddenly finds the time to contemplate the immediate reality of his situation and the specifics of what he just saw. Trapped inside a parking garage after the first tower collapse, hope rapidly leaves him as he struggles to find his way home, all the while keeping a hold of his bike.

Flynn is an epic poem about his near-death experience on 9/11, an attempt to document the rawness, destruction, and chaos of the day America changed forever. The black air of death overwhelms me." -from "Path of Stones" "I move closer with the awkwardness of a wooden boy on newly fashioned legs." -from "Sheet of Ash" My favorite poem was one entitled, "Where I Die," which documents his experience walking blind through a parking garage and feeling like that day will be his last.

He gets this name from a minor character, Avi, who is stuck in the parking garage with Bikeman. The conflict of the book is that the world trade center has been hit by two planes. Bikeman goes to a parking garage for safety but is trapped under the rubble of the towers. I liked the book Bikeman because of its unique format.

Flynn ( Bike Man) However, these poems were not written and published to focus on one mans story, but rather to chronicle an entire community, city, countrys timeless tale of strength and honor. -This collection of well written and detailed poems is an account of Flynns thoughts on that day, as his curiosity gets the best of him and he rides his bike down to the World Trade Towers, placing him in a series of death defying situations, yet enabling him to create such a unique chronicle of the crisis that shook America.

He got that nickname from a new friend that he met on that very day of 9/11 while running all over the place. Bike man leaves his house to go uptown to see what is going on and has an amazing and terrifying journey through the events of 9/11. Bike man is a book that I would recommend to any one I knew.

It's also very sad cause he knows some of his friends were probably killed in the attack.

-The epic poem Bikeman is the first person experience of a journalist during 9/11.