Praise Song for the Day

The poem Praise Song for the Day, written by Elizabeth Alexander is a poem written for Barack Obama’s inauguration. The poem describes everyday lives and how they are connected. The meaning of the poem is that everyone has their own unique lives. However, everyone’s lives are connected to their community and so many people have died for them to have their freedom. It is because of this that we should live life with love. Some everyday occurrences and people we tend to see are, “a woman and her son wait for the bus./A farmer considers the changing sky./ A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin” (line 13-15). These lines show examples of ordinary people going about their everyday lives and completing the tasks that relate to their communities. The author also uses imagery to describe occurrences where “we cross dirt roads and highways that mark/ the will of someone and then others, who said/I need to see what’s on the other side” (line 19-21). This connects to the idea that the people who came before fought and made sacrifices for the sake of freedom. Lastly the author mentions, “Repairing things in need of repair/ Someone is making music somewhere” (lines 9-10). Repairing things and making music can be seen as acts of care or love and expression, therefore these acts connect to the idea of living with love in our hearts while we do our everyday tasks. In conclusion this poem’s theme describes the lives of everyday people and reminding us to appreciate those from our past.

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