Looking for a book, DVD, CD, or other item? Search our catalog!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Poetry Friday--Declarations

Although the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, the first public reading of the Declaration didn't take place until July 8. It was read aloud to those assembled at what is now known as Independence Square, in Philadelphia. (It wasn't signed by all the delegates until even later!)

The beginning of America's independence from Great Britain was not a moment of universal freedom for many in the country. Here's a poem that looks at independence from another point of view.

A Declaration, Not of Independence

by Ralph Salisbury

for my mother and father

Apparently I’m Mom’s immaculately-conceived
Irish-American son, because,
Social-Security time come,
my Cherokee dad could not prove he’d been born.

He could pay taxes, though,
financing troops, who’d conquered our land,
and could go to jail,
the time he had to shoot or die,
by a Caucasian attacker’s knife.

read the rest here.

Time to visit Katie at The Logonauts for today's Poetry Friday Round-Up.


  1. What a past we have, and you'd think it would be unique. But no, all over the world people are tribal and full of hate. Yet, there are the people who love, who persevere and who achieve greatness in the little moments. This poem spans both and shines a spotlight on one time in our history in such an elegant, sparsely-worded way. A reminder to never forget, to not go back.

    1. And hold on for dear life if we find ourselves slipping...

  2. Wow....the ending to the poem:
    a mixed-blood family
    and raised—her tongue spading air—
    ancestors, a winter’s supply or more.
    Thank you for sharing the poem and pairing it with the Declaration of Independence. We are a paradoxical nation to say the least.

    1. Paradoxical is a good choice of words!

  3. Really powerful poem, thanks for sharing!