Tomorrow I'm looking forward to sharing a favorite thing that my son and I did during our D.C. trip, and today I'm posting his final poem from the Poetry Out Loud recitation competition. I first discovered this poem back in 10th grade American Literature class, and it gave me a real thrill to sit out in the audience and hear my son recite it again, after first hearing it so many years ago. Written in 1925, the words convey an eerie foretelling of some of the woes facing our country today.
Shine, Perishing Republic
While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster’s feet there are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught—they say—God, when he walked on earth.
|Taken on our evening trolley tour of the Washington Monuments. I love the dark, foreboding atmosphere of this photo.|
My favorite line from this poem is life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly a mortal splendor.
Is it just coincidence that my son is shown in this evening shot, surrounded by American flags and the Capitol in the background, wearing a shirt that says "Life is Good"?
Have a wonderful Friday!