Ergosum asked about my Ayn Rand poems. Here's "Arrival". I wrote the first stanza when I was in college. I always felt like it needed a second stanza. I finally wrote the second stanza a few years ago. The poem doesn't mention her name, but it's an imaginative re-creation of what she might have felt like when she arrived in New York after getting out of Russia.
Not knowing all the words for what she feels,
She doesn’t worry, words and knowledge will come.
In time she thinks, in time, for now she reels,
Giddy with breaths of free air, gazing up at the blue dome
Of sky and the towers that scrape it. “What
Evil could lurk here?” she asks. “I can’t imagine any.
And even if there were, my bonds are cut
And – Ah! Joy gives me strength! Who could defeat me?”
Does anyone stop to stare at the immigrant girl
Who twirls on the sidewalk with those eyes –
So large and brilliant as they sparkle with delight?
Does anyone wonder what strange new surprise
She holds, or guess that someday she will write
A tale to shake the shoulders of the world?
The other poem is called "Valhalla." She's buried in a cemetary in Valhalla, NY. I wonder if she chose the cemetery for the town name, since it's named for the Norse word for the afterlife of heroes. A friend of mine attended the burial service, and described to me this striking thing that happened with a flock of geese flying down. I don't believe in portents or an afterlife, but I liked the symbol of the geese as an image of her ideas and spirit living on triumphantly in our imaginations.
They laid her in the ground,
The geese flew overhead,
And in a "V" they swooped around,
Then shot away.
As if to say,
She isn't really dead.
Her spirit's merely fled
To where the heroes play.