Sunday, July 7, 2019

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.

 
 
 
 

10 comments:

Ruth said...

Absolutely beautiful post! 60 Minutes tonight had a bit about Tennessee in this segment: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/venture-capitalist-steve-case-spreading-funding-to-middle-america-with-rise-of-the-rest-60-minutes-2019-07-07/

Eva said...

Very nice blog.
Eva in Czech Republic,Europe

local alien said...

What a wonderful poem. It brings to mind all the best of America.

cloches and lavender said...

A beautiful poem and such pretty images to be shown.

Cindy

Changes in the wind said...

Beautiful poem and pictures....

Edna B said...

I love all your photos. That poem is Americana at its best. I loved it. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

ann said...

Beautiful photos and the poem says it all.

L. D. said...

This is a great post. Your photos are so good and they writing is so true.

Anonymous said...

Keep on writing, great job!

Anonymous said...

Your way of telling everything in this piece of writing is actually good, all
can simply understand it, Thanks a lot.