Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Great Regulars: With the horrific explosions this week

on my mind, I'm letting go of the Portland School of Poets theme for a month and offer here instead a popular, great American poem more suited, I feel, to the emotion of the moment.

What draws me to "America the Beautiful" is the last stanza:

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

The echo of Patriots Day and the reference to "alabaster cities" and "human tears" seem ghostly resonant.

Interestingly, this is one of the few stanzas that remains intact from the original poem, written by Katharine Lee Bates.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry: Hymn to national feeling offers sustenance in crisis


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