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The Poem

By Remy Benoit

Walt Whitman felt I Hear America Singing. as they went about the work of building this nation.

In his introduction to Leaves of Grass he wrote: The United States themselves are the essentially the greatest poem.

Langston Hughes wrote I, Too, Sing America.

Carl Sandburg wrote about Chicago.

When we were aborning a country, we had to give birth to its literary and poetic forms. We have done that, breaking rules, making new forms, letting them go, and finding even newer ways of expressing who we are, what we stand for.

What we stand for is here in plain, simple, and yet the most dynamic words ever written:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Perhaps if you are still undecided on how you will cast your vote on Nov. 2 it is because there is some confusion in your heart/mind about what the poem of the United States is today.

That you won't hear from the candidates. That answer lies deep inside of you.

Think back to that Civics class and ask yourself what the role of government is; what the role and responsibility of the citizenry is governance and then ask yourself which of these men will do the most to Preserve, Protect, and Defend not only the borders, not only the welfare of the nation, but these very poetic words:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Ask yourself the question: How do we export freedom and protect it at home?

Ask yourself if you can define the word "statesman" and how a true statesman will represent your interests and the poem that is the United States.

And then listen

- what song do you hear America singing today?
- what song does the rest of the world hear America singing today?

You might even want to try your hand at your own version of the poem.

God Bless, and guide, the United States.

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This item is part of WelcomeHomeSoldier.com: historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.


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