Rita Dove

Lady Freedom Among Us - Poem by Rita Dove

Don't lower your eyes
or stare straight ahead to where
you think you ought to be going
don't mutter oh no
not another one
get a job fly a kite
go bury a bone
with her oldfashioned sandals
with her leaden skirts
with her stained cheeks and whiskers and
heaped up trinkets
she has risen among us in blunt reproach
she has fitted her hair under a hand-me-down cap
and spruced it up with feathers and stars
slung over her shoulder she bears
the rainbowed layers of charity and murmurs
all of you even the least of you
don't cross to the other side of the square
don't think another item to fit on a
tourist's agenda
consider her drenched gaze her shining brow
she who has brought mercy back into the streets
and will not retire politely to the potter's field
having assumed the thick skin of this town
its gritted exhaust its sunscorch and blear
she rests in her weathered plumage
bigboned resolute
don't think you can ever forget her
don't even try
she's not going to budge
no choice but to grant her space
crown her with sky
for she is one of the many
and she is each of us

Comments about Lady Freedom Among Us by Rita Dove

  • (4/13/2019 11:10:00 PM)

    Is it about the Statue of Liberty or a modern American woman freed from Victorian shackles or whatsoever? Is it a recreation of Libertas? Who gave it to whom? Who built it? Whose wish behind the structure? Whose the design? The sky is yours; the dream is yours.Go wherever you like to go, do whatever else it pleases you, takes to your liking. Mind it the freedom is yours; the life is so, of yours, yours only. But do not not be under restricting your dreams and imagination. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (9/26/2018 5:25:00 PM)

    what inspired you to write this (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams (8/28/2016 6:18:00 PM)

    Yes. This is a piece of literature, it's got truths to say and say in a unique and unsettling way (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • (8/28/2016 9:31:00 AM)

    Crown her with sky
    for she is one of the many
    and she is each of us.
    Beautifully conceived poem. Thanks for sharing.

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Barry Middleton (8/28/2016 6:37:00 AM)

    An excellent poem. Reminded me of my favorite city and favorite square. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar Panda (8/28/2016 2:07:00 AM)

    Very nice. Feel independent to live a careless life. Loved it. (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/28/2016 12:47:00 AM)

    Get a job and fly a kite with the joy of your heart! Nice work. (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (5/15/2014 6:59:00 AM)

    Beautifully written! ! ! ! ! ! (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
Read all 8 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Monday, October 21, 2013

Poem Edited: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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