This is my playground for poetry written for children with ideas and inspiration for writing your own poems. Come on in. Sit for a spell, have a cup of words to swirl around and make your own cup of poetry. I'm so glad you are here. I hope you'll find the Kingdom of Poetry a fun place to be.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Today is the day citizens of the United States get to vote for the candidate of their choice.  Has your mom or dad already voted?  I'm going to be away from home today, so I voted by absentee ballot several weeks ago.  I hope everyone who can casts their ballot today.

I was away working over the weekend at the Kauai Writers Festival.  When I came into my studio this morning, a book had fallen from my bookcase and was on the floor.  Of course, I couldn't just shove the book back on the shelf.  I had to lovingly hold it and think about how I had acquired the book.  I had to look inside at the poems.  (Some mornings I'll do anything to put off getting to work.)  The book was The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Selected and Introduced by Caroline Kennedy, published by Hyperion.  This collection has many classic poems for reading and memorizing.

I thought the first poem was quite appropriate for today.  As I read the poem a chill came over me.  Was there a reason this book had fallen?  Was there a reason this poem had asked to be read?  Since it is in the Public Domain, I'm going to share it.  Let me know if you get chills too. Try reading the poem aloud, so you can hear every word.


by Katherine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
      For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
     Above the fruited plain!
        America! America!
     God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
     From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
     Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
     Across the wilderness!
        America! America!
     God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
     Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
     In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
     And mercy more than life!
        America! America!
     May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
     And every grain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
     That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
     Undimmed by human tears!
        America! America!
     God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
     From sea to shining sea.

     Teachers, you can find a beautifully illustrated copy of this poem and guidelines HERE. All the citizens who vote are part of our country's brotherhood.  
     Can you try writing a poem about our country today?  If you need a prompt, try an acrostic poem using your candidate's name, AMERICA, United States, or VOTE.  Have fun writing.

America, how may I help you?


  1. It does give a chill that it fell out, Joy. And it is beautiful. I am hopeful for a great election day!

  2. Thank you, Joy. I hope everyone votes. Thank you for voting. Thanks for sharing this Patriotic poem!

    1. Joan, I'm still following the election results. Now that the voting is over, I'd like to get the inauguration over and move on. I hope the poet selected to write the occasional poem does a great job at bringing us together.

  3. "How may I help you?" is a wonderful question. Are you sure he will have a poem? GWBush didn't.