"Say 'nation.' In the wake of quarrels. Say 'hope.'"
That original first line from poet Kwame Dawes, read on the program earlier this week, kicked off our crowd-sourced inaugural poetry project.
Takeaway listeners have been chiming in with the subsequent lines of the poem on Twitter using the hashtag #prezpoem.
Elizabeth Alexander is chair of the African-American studies department at Yale University. She composed and delivered "Praise Song for the Day" for President Obama's 2009 inauguration -- and she's been watching listener-submitted lines come in.
Kwame Dawes is a poet and author of "Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems." He's been keeping track of the lines as they come in too. He put together his favorite lines to create a complete poem.
Here's Kwame's curated version (we'll have our own, with listeners recording their lines, soon):
Sing Nation by Kwame Dawes (with a special thanks to Robert, Laura, Phoebe, Buddy, Andrew, TJ, and Mark)
Say nation in the wake of quarrels; say, hope,say peace for a nation's heart;say neighbour; say, what can I do? Doors will open. Together we must walk through.Dream, neighbour; in the face of fear, dream mercy when darkness floods,dream light to scatter the shadows.At the dawn of uncertain tomorrows, pray change, pray progress for this union.Shout forward in the silence after nightfall, Shout love in the dark of failures, shout try, as we move, as we persist into light.Sing nation in the wake of sorrows, sing hope.
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