Gem Cleage authored a poem to memorialize the Orly crash

On June 3, we appreciated the fiftieth anniversary from the famous Orly crash, which wiped out almost all of Atlanta’s most influential arts patrons at any given time once the city needed their guidance most. The Woodruff Arts Center eventually rose just like a phoenix in the proverbial remains, so it’s fitting the Alliance Theatre thought it appropriate to immortalize the tragedy in poetry. Their current “artist in dialogue,” Gem Cleage, authored a poem to mirror around the effect the crash had on the arts scene at that time and also the lingering effects it still holds upon us today. Titled “Wish You Had Been Here,” it touches both around the immediacy from the devastation:

Instead of solutions, they are able to offer only details:

33 children orphaned.

20 more have forfeit their moms.

46 adults have forfeit their parents.

19 people have forfeit beloved husbands valued spouses.

5 teams of parents, 15 widowed moms and 6 fathers

have forfeit their precious children.

Over 100 people have forfeit big siblings, baby siblings,

Many families lost several.

and also the styles that will eventually dominate its arts scene within the a long time, including diversity and inclusion:

Therefore we understood how to handle the ideal,

Together with your big understanding of that which was in front of us

When we only had the courage to embrace it to enlarge us circle

To incorporate each and every Us, before we’ve time for you to remember

There has ever been a Them.

Browse the entire poem here. And when you would like to understand more about the crash, take a look at Felicia Feaster’s great article onto it from your June issue.

Sure, the state anniversary would be a little over the other day, but it’s never the incorrect time for you to think back and reflect.

Photograph thanks to the Alliance Theatre