Friday, September 18, 2009

Poetry Friday -- Patriotism

by Ellie Schoenfeld

My country is this dirt
that gathers under my fingernails
when I am in the garden.
The quiet bacteria and fungi,
all the little insects and bugs
are my compatriots. They are
idealistic, always working together
for the common good.
I kneel on the earth
and pledge my allegiance
to all the dirt of the world,
to all of that soil which grows
flowers and food
for the just and unjust alike.

(the rest of the poem is here)

Unless you teach in a public school, you might not be aware that yesterday was Constitution Day. 222 years ago, our Founding Fathers signed the document by which our country is governed to this day. My Constitution Day lesson focused on the Bill of Rights and the UN's list of Universal Human Rights. We were more patriotic than usual yesterday, and more thankful than usual for our rights which are guaranteed and protected by the Constitution.

If you're working in the garden this late summer weekend, you can celebrate Constitution Day belatedly by pledging allegiance to the dirt under your fingernails.

The round up this week is at Becky's Book Reviews.


  1. thanks for sharing that poem--that's a pledge that means a lot to me!

    And happy belated Constitution Day.

  2. Mary Lee,

    I come from a family of Polish peasants. My maternal grandparents had a large vegetable garden and all kinds of flowers and fruit trees growing on the property that surrounded their house in a city in Massachusetts. My Dzidzi loved tending to his garden.

    When I do yard work, I never wear gloves. I guess I like the feel of damp soil and of dirt under my fingernails.

    Thanks for your poetry selection this Friday.

  3. I'm not much of a gardener, but I think about the earth as I run. I imagine that all the worms and grass and bugs and dirt slowly moving under me are encouraging me to keep going. Now I don't feel so weird for doing that!

  4. Wonderful poem, and no, I did not realize yesterday was Constitution Day. No late summer gardening here, just the smell of damp woods and giant mushrooms growing.

  5. Anonymous6:42 AM

    I came across your blog through a comment Mary Lee left on my own blog. I too have a Poetry Friday spot there and I think it is wonderful to share our favorite poems in this way. For me, the magic and power of poetry lies in its ability in a few lines to make you stop, think and feel deep emotions. When I read a good poem my heart, mind and soul are moved, as I am drawn into the beauty of its words and cadence. That is why I like to share with my readers those verses that have moved and inspired me.

  6. I love this! Will add the the Coinstitution Day items to share. I missed PF. Out of town to a funeral of my "uncle".


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