Sunday, July 1, 2018

Who We Are

The poem "Who We Are" by Margaret Britton Vaughn was designated the official bicentennial poem of Tennessee in 1996. "Maggi" is a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and was designated the state's poet laureate in 1999.
I confess to getting a lump in my throat, each time I read...…..







 
 
 
Who We Are
The Bicentennial of Tennessee
1796-1996

The fertile soil of Tennessee
Grew more than corn, tobacco, and cotton,
It grew a crop of people who are
Trailblazers, child raisers, flag wavers, soul savers.
Like the roots of the tulip poplar,
Our feet are planted deeply
Into good living, neighbor giving, God fearing.
Like the iris, buttercup and wild daisies,
Our towns have sprung up
In valleys, basins, mountains, plains and plateaus
That house cabins, mansions and hillside chateaus.
We're the one-room schoolhouse in the hollow;
We're the university grad and the front-porch scholar.
We're Davy Crockett at the Alamo,
Sergeant York, World War I hero.
We're Cordell Hull who served Roosevelt;
We're Chief Sequoyah and his Cherokee alphabet.
We're W.C. Handy and the Memphis Blues;
We're Ida B. Wells and Civil Rights news,
And Grand Ole Opry with old wooden pews.
We're "Rocky Top" and "Tennessee Waltz" the same;
We're "Star Spangled Banner" before the game.
We're mockingbirds singing Appalachian folk songs;
We're country church sing-alongs.
We're hand clappers, toe tappers, knee slappers
And Mama's lap lullaby nappers.
We're Jackson, Johnson and James K. Polk;
We're city slickers and poor hill folk;
We're Anne Dallas Dudley and the Suffrage Vote.
We're John Sevier, Don Sundquist and governors galore;
We're congressmen, mayors and Vice President Gore.
We're Wilma Rudolph's run for the gold
And Sunday golfers' eighteenth hole.
We're Christmas Eve and the Fourth of July;
We're 4-H and homemade chess pie.
We're TVA rivers, creeks and man-made lakes;
We're ruts in dirt roads and interstates.
We're all religions, creeds and peoples of race;
We're Tennesseans who love the home place.
We're the Volunteer State and will always be
Ready to go when someone's in need.
As our trees turn green and our barns turn gray.
We celebrate our two hundredth birthday.
We know we've done our best, stood the test,
And will be laid to rest
In the fertile soil of Tennessee.

 
 
 

7 comments:

Lady Jane said...

Hi, love all your photos and I am printing off this poem for my son and dil as they love to visit a cabin for a week in Tennessee every fall. I know they will love it. hugs, lj

Patsy said...

Wonderful post, Thank you, fits is to a tea.

local alien said...

All f Tennessee in a poem. How wonderful. No wonder you get a lump in your throat!

Susie said...

Jo, That is a beautiful poem and I loved the pictures too. Blessings for a safe and fun 4th. xoxo, Susie

Annie said...

Beautiful.

Angela Gabhart said...

Spoken like a true Tennessean...my HOME state! Beautiful!!! Go Vols!

L. D. said...

This is such a great post. I like seeing who Tennessee is and admire the state.