It seemed fitting to mark the 4th of July with a patriotic sort of poem, and so I've chosen one from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. Even though he was maligned during life, and despite economic challenges, Whitman believed in the ideas set forth in the U.S. Constitution, and in the notion that people can come to this country and make their way here. Those are notions I still subscribe to, even when sometimes it seems that our government does not. And yet I'm free to express that particular opinion here, while others, in other countries, can not even express dissatisfaction. And so, today, I too sing America. And I hear others out there, singing along.
I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics—-each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat—the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench—the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter’s song—-the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission,
&emsp or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother-—or of the young wife at work—-or of the girl sewing or
&emsp washing—-Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day—-At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.