Poem celebrates spirit of election

Los Altos resident Sri Jagannathan wrote the following poem last month, inspired by the 2020 election. He said he based it on the spirit of Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” poem, written in 1865 as an extended metaphor on the death of Abraham Lincoln.

O Country! My Country!

O Country! My Country!
A dreaded fear hath come
Democracy that weathered every rack,
the prize we thought we won
The vote is dear, the bells I hear,
the people all exulting
While follow eyes the every turn,
a country torn and flailing.

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the seething fear and dread
While for all to see the country lies
Broken and in distress.

O Country! My Country!
Wake up and hear the yells
Rise up – for you the flag is flung –
for you the voices shrill
For you the briquettes and tortuous
tweets – for you the trust eroding
For you they call, the swaying mass,
their eager spirits hurting;

O country, chere patrie
The fears inside my head
It is some dream that on our long
odyssey
You have created this dread instead

My country stirs to answer,
I hear the spirit stir
The people give rise to hope,
theirs the pulse, the will
The ship is crewed and set to go,
its sails are high and full
From fearful dip, democracy,
comes in with object won;

Exult ye folks, and ring O bells!
While I with joyful tread
Walk the land where the spirit thrives
Marching right ahead!

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