Thinking of America
As the Independence Day Holiday approaches, I reflect on the land in which I was born and raised.
Robert Frost, one of America’s greatest poets, wrote a short but interesting verse about our nation. It is titled, The Gift Outright – In the sixteen lines of this poem, Frost tells the American story from colonialism, to freedom, to the expansion westward. All of these helped to develop our uniquely American culture. You can read several analyses of the poem here.
The Gift Outright
The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.
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