Political Voice (A Cento)

A cento or collage poem takes bits of poetry from past poets and puts them together in a new order. The below poem draws on the poems written for the political campaigns of U.S. Presidents Lincoln, Taylor, and Taft.

We’ll sing a song to suit the times,
With voices bold and steady,
And cheerily we’ll tell in rhymes
Of good old rough and ready.

Thank God that we are free men,
And can vote for whom we will.
We spread our starry banner
Freely forth from dome to hill.

Success to the old-fashioned doctrine,
That men are created all free.
And down with the power of the despot,
Wherever his stronghold may be.

We’ll finish the temple of freedom,
And make it capacious within.
That all who seek shelter may find it,
whatever the hue of their skin.

And then we’ll shout in chorus strong,
With voices firm and steady,
And this the burden of our song,
Old gallant Rough and Ready.



Beverly Stock is a poet living in St. Louis, Missouri. Look for more of her work on her upcoming website: www.BeverlyStockPoetry.com

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2 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    Your excellent poem reads differently for me today than it would have a week ago.
    What is the song to suit our times, when we are poised on the brink of collapse and uncertainty?
    Can we spread our starry banner freely, when even Betsy Ross must be defended from the vicious and the seditious?
    Well done, nonetheless, and may God bless us and see us through these troubling times.


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