Beauty, Art, Music in Literature Poetry Poetry Friday

[Poetry Friday] Kwame Alexander’s “Thank You, America”

For You


Fats here.

For those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you had a good one. Today’s verses were taken from a poem written by American poet and children’s fiction writer, Kwame Alexander. I discovered this in a post by NPR that I read on the morning of Thanksgiving. Earlier during this month, NPR asked their readers and listeners to share what they are most thankful for about America. Kwame Alexander worked his magic and wove these responses into a single poem. Enjoy!

Poetry Friday round-up is hosted this week by Irene at Live Your Poem!


Thank You, America

Kwame Alexander


The sun rising behind farm houses in the Midwest
The clear mountain rivers in Montana
I hope we have the wisdom to treasure all of it.

A glimmer of dawn
First flickers in Maine

For the mountains.
magnificent weathered beacons of
topographical wonder.

I won’t lie, I struggled with this question
With all the fighting, hate and violence
it has been difficult to remember to be thankful.
However, when I read stories of people who
stand up and speak out
for justice and truth
I become immensely grateful and proud of

I am thankful for America’s history, warts
and all.
Our past, full of light and dark,
Read the history
of heroes and villains
See our country for what it is.

I am grateful that America can change,
for the millions who take to the streets,
challenge authority,
insist on change,
demand justice,
resist evil, tell their stories,

For the dream to become,
the dream to make better or different,
the dream to inspire,
the dream of something on the other side
of whatever is facing us in the moment

For You

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Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

5 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Kwame Alexander’s “Thank You, America”

  1. laurashovan222

    Thanks for this poem today, Fats. My favorite line is: I hope we have the wisdom to treasure all of it.


  2. Thank you, Fats! I hadn’t seen this before… America is a complicated place, for sure, and yes, much to be thankful for. xo


  3. maryleehahn

    Love this! I saw the tweets after it was too late. Thanks for sharing what he wrote!


  4. I love this line: I am thankful for America’s history, warts
    and all.


  5. Thank you for Kwame Alexander’s Dreams in this poem–he gives us much to be thankful for!


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