Friday, July 10, 2009

Kennedy Inauguration

Also on the National Recording Registry list is the inauguration of JFK. I have two things here for you. First, the inauguration speech of JFK:

Second, Robert Frost was supposed to read a new poem, Dedication, but was unable to do so and instead recited, The Gift Outright from memory. I’d thought I’d post The Gift Outright here, but you can find the text of both from PBS.
The land was our 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 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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Frost's poems are muscular in rhythm and pass from generation to generation with without difficulty.

A bit like Brahms: his poetry takes some time for the listener to develop the ear.

Thanks for reminding me of the greatness of Frost.