Democracy

As it is April and poetry has dominated my classroom with more deliberate attention this month, I will share a poem from the magnificent Langston Hughes. Hughes’ words have echoed in my mind all week. Maybe it’s because of the violence shattering our world peace, or the politicians bent on curtailing a host of civil freedoms, or that the richest man in the world will make sure that Twitter is more volitive and destructive, I’m not sure, but after you read through maybe you will agree “Democracy” is worth pondering today.

Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear. 

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Poems and Poets

One by one the lamps were all extinguished, except that Mr. Carmichael, who liked to lie awake a little reading Virgil, kept his candle burning rather longer than the rest… [Mr. Carmichael brought out a volume of poems that spring, which had an unexpected success. The war, people said, had revived their interest in poetry] (Woolf, To the Lighthouse). Much like the characters in Woolf’s novel, we too, only yesterday, took a step away from our four year war against lies and misinformation, against bigotry and racism, against incivility and immorality, seeking solace from an elder statesman and a young poet, and on a historic Inauguration day, we got more than we could have hoped for in the wisdom of President Biden and the spoken poetry of Amanda Gorman. Unity. Light. A reminder of our America.

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