Poems for Independence Day
December 5, 2006 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: I'm looking for poems appropriate for the 4th of July, preferably non-militiristic and not cheesy, that are maybe kind of thought-provoking in a nice, non-threatening sort of way.

The ones that have been considered and deemed not exactly what I'm looking for are "Ode for the Fourth of July"
by James M. Whitfield, "OCCASIONED BY GENERAL WASHINGTON'S ARRIVAL IN PHILADELPHIA, ON HIS WAY TO HIS RESIDENCE IN VIRGINIA" by Philip Freneau, and "Ragged Old Flag" by Johnny Cash. Also Whitman's "By Blue Ontario's Shore" which may be overused.
posted by amarynth to Grab Bag (4 answers total)

Not guns, not thunder, but a clutter of clouded drums
That announce a fiesta: abruptly, fiery needles
Circumscribe on the night boundless chrysanthemums.
Softly, they break apart, they flake away, where
Darkness, on a svelte hiss, swallows them.
Delicate brilliance: a bellflower opens, fades,
In a sprinkle of falling stars.
Night absorbs them With the sponge of her silence
~ Babette Deutsch

There's a nice one by Carl Sandburg here. I'm all about the fireworks.
posted by iconomy at 8:31 AM on December 5, 2006

Hm. The fireworks path is a good one. I've been googling all morning and most of what I've found has been cheesy and overly militaristic or so patriotic it hurts.

When I went looking for poems just about independence (not the holiday), I found this poem referenced as "A poem for Independence Day" and it struck me as thought provoking, though maybe too far off the fourth of july topic.
posted by routergirl at 3:08 PM on December 5, 2006

"i sing of Olaf glad and big" ?
posted by oats at 8:13 PM on December 5, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies!
posted by amarynth at 10:02 AM on December 7, 2006

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