Independence Day 2019

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, poet, and lecturer who lived from 1803-1882. He spoke and wrote about Transcendentalism, which is a belief system that puts importance on an individual rather than a whole society. He was a leader of this movement. This poem is a showcase of that belief. Emerson believed people were the ones who made a nation strong. It wasn’t because of the wealth or societal structures like politics and religion. In Transcendentalism, the value is placed on a person, and following one’s own instincts rather than conforming to what a society orders is encouraged. Emerson’s motto was, “Trust thyself.”

A Nation’s Strength

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly…
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.


Beauty, Danger and Pride – A Riddle

Picture courtesy of: http://www.barryrhodes.com/2011/12/new-year-rules-riddle.html
Picture courtesy of: http://www.barryrhodes.com/2011/12/new-year-rules-riddle.html

 


 

The sharpest eye in animal world

is said this bird does own,

He sees a mouse between the rocks

no matter how high he’s flown.

**

He is a predator, of beauty and strength

a symbol of power to all,

when he circles the skies with majestic pride

and is always successful in haul.

**

Unexpected, hidden and in shocking speed

he falls out of the big blue skies,

there’s not the slightest chance to  escape

when his screaming doomed prey dies.

**

He is family bound, this beautiful creature

doing for kids whatever he can.

He will hunt and protect, no matter what costs

to protect his kids and his clan.

**

A symbol for humans, for us who admire

this fantastic animal who is our sign

for hope, for pride, for solidarity

a strong picture who shows us to shine.

**

With his white head and tail, his chocolate wings

his strength and his power are pure and true;

a symbol, a guidepost for our country’s hope

the epitome of the Red, White and Blue!

*****

(Copyright, Aurora Jean Alexander, January 2016)

 

 

Picture courtesy of: http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/animals-ecology/american-bald-eagle-endangered-17022015/
Picture courtesy of: http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/animals-ecology/american-bald-eagle-endangered-17022015/