Richard Blanco wasn't the only poet to pen a line for President Barack Obama's second inauguration. Last week, our partners at The Takeaway asked for your help writing a poem for the inauguration.
Poet Kwame Dawes wrote the first line--"Say 'nation.' In the Wake of quarrels, say 'hope'"--and the audience tweeted the rest of the lines.
A People's Poem for the Inauguration
Say that freedom, both the blessing and right,
remain the provenance of open minds.
Acknowledge the dreams that birthed a great nation — say "freedom."
Speak it into action and watch our dreams reshape the future.
And heart in hand, for the sake of the young,
of the old,
of all those who
wade thru injustice's tide, say "freedom."
Say and shout and sing! Progress is a storm and our voices the thunder.
Say "peace" for the hearts of a nation's people, in times of grief.
Say one, say all. To abandon hope is to further the fall
Say "take my hand" to the downtrodden, the lost.
Sing harmonies that blend in a spectrum of love.
In the dark of failures, say "try"; encourage, persist to light.
Say friend, my hand for your strength, your eyes for my light as we forward together.
Say hope is ours.
Wash away morose pessimism and the failings of the nascent.
Remember our virtue; remember our lofty intent.
In the wake of the struggle, speak, so that together we all may speak courage.
Say "hope," eyes turned not to the gauzy sky
nor to the brassy gates of power
but to the frost-bitten grass beneath our feet.
I need to hear, again, those antiquated words
in this new light.