Amanda Palmer, musician and author, has just released a new poem entitled “Empathy is Nothing.” This poem is a follow-up to her previous poetic work “poem for dzhokhar,” a piece that focuses on her thoughts and feelings days after the Boston Marathon bombing event occurred.
In a blog post that was meant for a small community of readers evolved into the entire outside world picking up the poem for their own viewing. Now, six years later and Palmer releases this poem as sort of a follow-up, receiving an email from a friend about a benefit night called “an evening of inspired leaders’ held in Boston.
Palmer writes that, “we would be reading poems, aloud, aside a dozen or so distinguished boston luminaries (a few: elaine zecher, the senior rabbi of temple israel of boston, peter slavin, the president of mass general hospital and david leonard, the leader of the boston public library). it was slightly intimidating. and again, a real honor.” She then continued on to say, “The huntington is only a few blocks from the finish line where the bombing took place. it was just a few weeks before the marathon. i knew that if i was ever going to cross my own personal finish line and write this poem, this would be the crowd to receive it.”
For this piece, she released an audio component to her writing by allowing viewers to hear her speak her own words. She recites in the piece, “we’re all one / with rare exceptions, / we have standards to uphold. / we are strong. / we are unflappable. / we won’t be taken down. / we won’t be made to feel afraid. / by folks out of town.” She delivers a raw, heartbreaking narrative in just a shortage of words, delivering impact word after word.
To understand the piece better, listen to it down below!
Photo taken by Raymond Flotat