As we approach the July 4th holiday I can’t help but think of Walt Whitman’s "I Hear America Singing"€� from his collection of poems Leaves of Grass. The first line is particularly poignant for me – "I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear."€� I love the idea that each of us has our own melody, don’t you? Our diversity is our strength and our song; from old and young alike; from this land that sustains us, a place of hope and bounty, a land that we love.
What would the words be to your personal anthem? Definitely something to ponder as we celebrate our country’s 239th birthday.
I Hear America Singing
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
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning,
or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,
or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or 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.
– Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass