July 4, 2010


Heaven be thanked for acres I possess
Though much is sterile clay and bluff and stone,
Land that I hope to hold for life's duress,
Land that by deed and in my heart I own…
And I am grateful for the hard-earned knowledge
That I know dirt and what to plant and when,
Experience I did not get in college
Nor from associates in a world of men.
I know that I can always fill my table
From this lean land and with these hands and this head
As long as I have strength, am well and able,
Let come what will; I have no fear or dread.
As long as I have land, seed, working tools,
And get a season not too wet nor dry
And have a team of well-fed kicking mules
I'm independent and I'll do or die…

––Jesse Stuart


Those who know me will know my skepticism and criticism of agrarianism; however, I do love the non-agraianist agrarian poetry of Stuart. It is about direct relation to a home patch by a man who lived fully and did not patronize others who lived by chance or fault, less. Perhaps his Great Lakes Naval Training Station poems would be the better choice for this holiday––Stuart struggles with war and gives a patriotism of place as he prepares for it––but it is hard to isolate one part of those poems, and there is a limit to what I can type. Besides, I realize that Stuart is not particularly a "great", and my interest in him may tax those non-Kentuckians (and thus the overwhelming majority) in my audience. However, he is the author of this blog's title, and will regularly get respect for it.


I love my country. I do now know if I love "America", but I love her peoples and her land. I love the high desert in Arizona and Bluegrass hills; Colorado mountains and Great Lakes shore. My academic study was in large part the bones of this country, and I love it more for knowing it.It is futile to condemn a fait accompli; so let us embrace American Independence and pray the better angels of that nature conquer.


My wife & I have had, for very different reasons, unfortunate and taxing weeks. She is now home safe & sound, and I am mostly well again, but I would ask the prayers of those who read this: this coming week will be hard in a very different way. Our future depends on our steadfastness and God's grace (as always).

1 comment:

  1. I realise I am late reading this but you both have my prayers.