Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

July 4th poem: “I am the Declaration of Independence,” by Genie Keller

July 4, 1976, the United States celebrated its Bicentennial. In 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. As the N Y Times board blog says: "It makes sense to think of the Fourth of July as the start of a season and not as a one-day holiday moored off by itself. But it takes the éclat of a single, explosive day to capture the sense of release, the promise, of the Declaration of Independence."

Here's a magnificent poem by our friend and neighbor Genie Keller, written on July 4, 2003, capturing the essence of the Declaration of Independence. You'll find other poems of Genie's in the Writing Matters archives. ---JGR

Eric Long photo #95 Smithsonian American Flag
Eric Long photo #95 Smithsonian American Flag

I AM THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
by Genie Keller

I was born in 1776 on the 4th of July
Amid strife and the burning question of, why?

My aim to succeed in every way
To Bless my people with hope everyday.
My every word took a solemn beginning
The anticipation of futures and also of winning.

I was written with skill from far above
With meaningful words, blended with love.
The pattern was struck into every mind
To explain what was there for all mankind.
The Truth of the Right belongs to all men
To protect it and Guard it, secured to the end.

Now with hope in our hearts and the will of the state
With life, liberty and pursuit of happiness,
OR, our fate
I pledged to each person, the promise of peace
For Loyalty and Independence never to cease.
I wrote to protect us in all of our Rights
And grant us much strength through out all of the nights.

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4 Responses »

  1. I really like this poem, Aunt Genie. We must always appreciate how this document and the subsequent actions and sacrifices of the men that drafted it created the legacy that we as Americans have inherited; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  2. I love this poem. The Founding Fathers had that anticipation of a great future for this young country referred to by the poet--freedom from the tyrany of monarchs and devotion to the well-being of their fellow countrymen for generations to come. Genie Keller expresses this same love of freedom, country and the people who dwell therein. Huzzah!!

  3. I was 14 years in 1972 in Tehran, Iran. I remember I used to take double decker bus, everyday and sit on the top level so when the bus stopped in front of American embassy station I could see American flag.That was the most inspiring picture in my mind. That flag gave me hope, and made my dreams come true.Now I live in America, and I am a proud United State citizen.America gave me everything I always wanted. I LOVE IT. :0)

  4. May I read this in a teaching video I must do? It is a great poem, and I would like to use it, but am not sure if that is legal or not?

    Thank you!

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