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The Triangle Fire, in Couplets

Enter the poetry contest!

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The scene after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.(ILR School at Cornell)

Amateur poets (well, and professional ones, too): In honor of the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the Forward is sponsoring a poetry contest for original works that react to that tragedy’s legacy. Submissions may be in English or Yiddish (seriously). Click on the link for details.

Among the distinguished panel of judges is poet Susan Comninos (check out some of her latest work in TriQuarterly). We schep particular noches here, because the judging opportunity arose, Susan tells us, after she won Nextbook Press’s Yehuda Halevi-themed poetry contest.

Anyway, cash prizes await, folks; get crackin’!

The Triangle Fire Poetry Contest [Forward]
Earlier: We Have a Poetry Contest Winner!

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how long should the poems for the contest be? Jay

I asked how long the poems should be. When I hit ‘submit’ i was told that I had asked that already, but I hadn’t. Jay

Where do we send the poem? Submit electronically to this site or mail or whatever? I don’t see a submission form, only this. And i assume you aren’t actually asking for couplets?

Marguerite Phillips says:

RE: Submission for Triangle Waist Company Poem–Enrty below:

Triangle Waist Company Factory Fire

As yung meydls sewed straight tight seams
Gone, all gone, were their new world dreams
Horrified and helpless they would soon be dead
Unable to stop the ravaging flames that spread.

Farloyrn geyn, a hundred years,
Nothing would stop their mother’s tears
Tate wept on that cold raw day,
“Got Hob Rakhmin” is what he prayed.

Flames warmed the faithful who stood nearby
Lost in their grief, no one heard their cry
Wearing shirtwaist blouses, one by one they started to fall
Bursting into flames at the irony of it all.

Max and Isaac collected their blut gelt
Seemingly not caring what the loved ones felt.
They locked the doors to a seamstress’s life
Their greed caused untold suffering and strife.

A hundred hearts stopped loving, All their hopes were gone
Did their sacrifice teach us anything as sweatshops still go on?
And in the Cemetery of The Evergreens, beneath the old green sod
The marble woman kneels in their memory echoing, “Geyn Mit Got”.

Marguerite Phillips says:

I tried going to the link put in my info for $15 reading and it was rejected for format–I guess I can’t do it that way. So enjoy anyway.

Susan Comninos says:

The entry form for the Forward poetry contest can be found at

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The Triangle Fire, in Couplets

Enter the poetry contest!

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