Guest poem submitted by Sara G:
(Poem #994) The Gift Outright
The land was ours before we were the land's. She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people. She was ours In Massachusetts, in Virginia, But we were England's, still colonials, Possessing what we still were unpossessed by, Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Something we were withholding made us weak Until we found out that it was ourselves We were withholding from our land of living, And forthwith found salvation in surrender. Such as we were we gave ourselves outright (The deed of gift was many deeds of war) To the land vaguely realizing westward, But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced, Such as she was, such as she would become.
Written in 1942, recited at JFK's inauguration in 1961. How can you not have this poem yet? Frost wrote a longer poem, "Dedication" for the inauguration, but the glare of the sun on the snow blinded him (he was 86 years old) and he recited this, which he knew by heart. The inaguration was on a freezing day, the whole northeastern coast was snowed in. As an 11 year old living in New England, we didn't have school that day because of the snow, and I remember watching the inauguration on TV. Sara. [Minstrels Links] Robert Frost: Poem #51, The Road Not Taken Poem #155, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Poem #170, The Need of Being Versed in Country Things Poem #336, A Patch of Old Snow Poem #681, The Secret Sits Poem #730, Mending Wall Poem #779, Fire and Ice Poem #917, A Considerable Speck Poem #985, Once by the Pacific