Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Anthem, as rendered by Robert Frost

I don't subscribe to Atlantic Monthly, but it is one of my favorite magazines, so perhaps I should. At Border's last night, I browsed through the January/February edition, which featured, on pages 94-95, an amusing article by Garrison Keillor, in which he speculates on how our national anthem would have been written had famous poets, rather than Francis Scott Key, undertaken the task. My favorite version was Robert Frost's, which, according to Mr. Keillor, would read thus:

Whose flag this is I think I know
His house is being bombed now though
He will not see that I have come
To watch the twilight's ebbing glow.

My little horse must think it dumb,
The cannons' pandemonium,
The rockets bursting in the air,
The sound of bugle, fife, and drum.

He turns and shakes his derriere
To show me that he doesn't care
Who takes this battle flag or why,
When in the redness of the glare

I see the banner flying high
Through the tumult in the sky
And, knowing all is now okay,
We walk away, my horse and I.

The flag is lovely, hip hooray,
But I have things to do today,
Some here and others far away,
Before I stop to hit the hay.

Kudos to Mr. Keillor for this clever and amusing bit of verse.


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