The ground trembled and moaned
like some mighty giant stirring from sleep,
like some force gone unnoticed wanting to be known,
And Naples crumbled,
And men died, and women died,
and children would never grow old.
Even dead Pompeii died, died even more that day.
And the earth was changed, and people were changed.
Workmen hurried to rebuild Pompeii
working hard to restore its timeless death.
And people groped in rain filled darkness
trying hard to rebuild shattered life.
And small towns, villages rival Pompeii in their death,
And death is more easily restored than life.
Here is a poem I wrote after an Italian earthquake some time ago.