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!