From The People Yes (“Hope is a tattered flag…”) (transcript)

Jason Carter-Solomon: Hello, my name is Jason Carter-Solomon. I’m a student at John Burroughs High School, I am presently a sophomore, and I have chosen Carl Sandburg as one of my favorite poets, especially American poet, because Carl Sandburg was a man who genuinely and honestly loved America. And as we look at ourselves as Americans in this present day and age and we see the struggles and also the triumphs of American civilization, and as I hear the readers who have preceded me, I see that American, to be American, has become something different than what it once was. And I’ve chosen “Hope is a tattered flag,” and honestly I must say, I think, no matter, Black, white, homosexual, heterosexual, Jew, Christian, Muslim, whatever it be, that if we live in America, if we are all Americans, we all have an individual sense of hope, and I think this is one of the things that binds us together as American citizens.

Hope is a tattered flag and a dream of time.
Hope is a heartspun word, the rainbow, the shadblow in white
The evening star inviolable over the coal mines,
The shimmer of northern lights across a bitter winter night,
The blue hills beyond the smoke of the steel works,
The birds who go on singing to their mates in peace, war, peace,
The ten-cent crocus bulb blooming in a used-car salesroom,
The horseshoe over the door, the luckpiece in the pocket,
The kiss and the comforting laugh and resolve—
Hope is an echo, hope ties itself yonder, yonder.
The spring grass showing itself where least expected,
The rolling fluff of white clouds on a changeable sky,
The broadcast of strings from Japan, bells from Moscow,
Of the voice of the prime minister of Sweden carried
Across the sea in behalf of a world family of nations
And children singing chorals of the Christ child
And Bach being broadcast from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
And tall skyscrapers practically empty of tenants
And the hands of strong men groping for handholds
And the Salvation Army singing God loves us….

Thank you.