Friday, August 01, 2008

Poetry Friday: Living in America

(Available for purchase at

This week's poem came to me via A Writer's Almanac. You can read the whole poem there.  

Californians and New Englanders, be advised: the geographic center of the Lower 48 is near Lebanon, KS.   Nearby offbeat places include World's Largest Ball of Twine (Cawker City, KS - 23 mi.), World's Largest Collection of World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest... (Lucas, KS - 53 mi.), and the Birthplace of Kool-Aid (Hastings, NE - 53 mi.).

Living in America
by Anne Stevenson

'Living in America,'
the intelligent people at Harvard say,
'is the price you pay for living in New England.'

Californians think
living in America is a reward
for managing not to live anywhere else.

The rest of the country?
Could it be sagging between two poles,
tastelessly decorated, dangerously overweight?

The roundup today is at A Well-Read Child.


  1. I like that. I heard one on Writer's Almanac just yesterday that rather took my breath away, and I was reminded to listen more often.

    Thanks for the new poem!

  2. Anonymous10:21 AM

    I like it too. Thanks for pointing me to it.

    Lebanon, Kansas, huh? But that's so far WEST...

  3. Gee, maybe I should go to Lebanon. Cool poem!

  4. Anonymous4:13 PM

    When I went to college in Pittsburgh PA, I was stunned by the East Coasters who called it the "Midwest." I'm from Michigan originally, and even that's so far east compared to Kansas, the Dakotas... But sometimes I'm as guilty as anyone of dismissing those Great Plains as a whole lot of nothing. I don't think it sinks in how much of America is there until you drive through it a few times!

  5. Mary Lee,

    I have to admit that I love living in New England near the ocean and the mountains. It's so beautiful here in the autumn. But I also have to admit I haven't traveled through the Midwest--though I've been to all three West Coast states. One day, I'd like to take a trip across the country and visit our country's "Heartland."


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