treat the death of Joe Paterno as it would the death of a president, the rest of us go on living in the real valley of sorrow, where once a day someone is killed." />

The Real Valley Of Sorrow

January 26, 2012 |  by  |  Possible City  |  ,

Photo: Bradley Maule, Phillyskyline.com

As the Inquirer continues to treat the death of Joe Paterno as it would the death of a president, the rest of us go on living in the real valley of sorrow, where once a day someone is killed.

The real valley of sorrow, where this week two neighborhood shopkeepers, both immigrants, were executed.

The real valley of sorrow, the valley of the gun, the valley of silence, the valley of brutality, the valley of anger, the valley of cold blood.

The valley of orphans.

The valley of dead streets (even on warm nights), of dark streets, the valley of fear.

The valley of prison by right, prison by example, prison by coming-of-age.

The valley of sorrow eats away at all of us, eats our wonder, eats our desire, eats our passion, eats our confidence, eats our liberty, eats our potential, eats our hearts.

About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.



3 Comments


  1. Well done.

  2. Very well expressed. The level of general acceptance of this abominable condition, despite NYC’s showing the path to reduction/ improvement is nothing short of an outrage.

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