Bookmark this post and come back when you have five minutes and read this poem aloud. It is a poem for our age.
Then when you are done, get your second wow and go over the Huff Post and see where it is was read and why. You will be saying wow, really loud.
when two violins are placed in a room
if a chord on one violin is struck
the other violin will sound the note
if this is your definition of hope
this is for you
the ones who know how powerful we are
who know we can sound the music in the people around us
simply by playing our own strings
for the ones who sing life into broken wings
open their chests and offer their breath
as wind on a still day when nothing seems to be moving
spare those intent on proving god is dead
for you when your fingers are red
from clutching your heart
so it will beat faster
for the time you mastered the art of giving yourself for the sake of someone else
for the ones who have felt what it is to crush the lies
and lift truth so high the steeples bow to the sky
this is for you
this is also for the people who wake early to watch flowers bloom
who notice the moon at noon on a day when the world
has slapped them in the face with its lack of light
for the mothers who feed their children first
and thirst for nothing when they’re full
this is for women
and for the men who taught me only women bleed with the moon
but there are men who cry when women bleed
men who bleed from women’s wounds
and this is for that moon
on the nights she seems hung by a noose
for the people who cut her loose
and for the people still waiting for the rope to burn
about to learn they have scissors in their hands
this is for the man who showed me
the hardest thing about having nothing
is having nothing to give
who said the only reason to live is to give ourselves away
so this is for the day we’ll quit or jobs and work for something real
we’ll feel for sunshine in the shadows
look for sunrays in the shade
this is for the people who rattle the cage that slave wage built
and for the ones who didn’t know the filth until tonight
but right now are beginning songs that sound something like
people turning their porch lights on and calling the homeless back home
this is for all the shit we own
and for the day we’ll learn how much we have
when we learn to give that shit away
this is for doubt becoming faith
for falling from grace and climbing back up
for trading our silver platters for something that matters
like the gold that shines from our hands when we hold each other
this is for the grandmother who walked a thousand miles on broken glass
to find that single patch of grass to plant a family tree
where the fruit would grow to laugh
for the ones who know the math of war
has always been subtraction
so they live like an action of addition
for you when you give like every star is wishing on you
and for the people still wishing on stars
this is for you too
this is for the times you went through hell so someone else wouldn’t have to
for the time you taught a 14 year old girl she was powerful
this is for the time you taught a 14 year old boy he was beautiful
for the radical anarchist asking a republican to dance
cause what’s the chance of everyone moving from right to left
if the only moves they see are NBC and CBS
this is for the no becoming yes
for scars becoming breath
for saying i love you to people who will never say it to us
for scraping away the rust and remembering how to shine
for the dime you gave away when you didn’t have a penny
for the many beautiful things we do
for every song we’ve ever sung
for refusing to believe in miracles
because miracles are the impossible coming true
and everything is possible
this is for the possibility that guides us
and for the possibilities still waiting to sing
and spread their wings inside us
cause tonight saturn is on his knees
proposing with all of his ten thousand rings
that whatever song we’ve been singing we sing even more
the world needs us right now more than it ever has before
pull all your strings
play every chord
if you’re writing letters to the prisoners
start tearing down the bars
if you’re handing our flashlights in the dark
start handing our stars
never go a second hushing the percussion of your heart
play like you know the clouds have left too many people cold and broken
and you’re their last chance for sun
play like there’s no time for hoping brighter days will come
play like the apocalypse is only 4…3…2
but you have a drum in your chest that could save us
you have a song like a breath that could raise us
like the sunrise into a dark sky that cries to be blue
play like you know we won’t survive if you don’t
but we will if you do
play like saturn is on his knees
proposing with all of his ten thousand rings
that we give every single breath
this is for saying-yes
this is for saying-yes
Poem by activist poet Andrea Gibson
this is amazing. very inspiring. i love it.
I think so too, Katie. Thanks for stopping by.
Thank you for sharing this, it was very moving!!! Really makes you stop and think. Thank you.
And thank you for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed it.
Absolutely beautiful. I’m so grateful I stopped and read this.
Pleasure! Loved it too.
Good to see you Fred. And thanks for making my week. Great to share something with so many.
So many of these incredible lines pierced me like arrows..What a gem to find, Reading this beauty is the best thing I will do today, I’am sure, Thankyou so much.
It is incredibly powerful. As was the context.
Keep it handy. A good desiderata for the next few years!
i didn’t read it aloud (yet) but i was still out of breath when i finished. its beautiful.
This poem is truely…truely!
. . . gobstopping as we Brits say!
i was shocked when i reached the bottom and realised this wasn’t written by saul williams. the tone, the themes, the metaphors all remind me of his work. equally as beautiful and fulfilling as well.
Elle, you educate me. I must look that up. It might be derivative but given the traffic and click thrus, I would say it is a poem that found its time?
This poem was really inspiring. I loved it. Then, I read the Huff Post thing. How completely ridiculous some people are. It is absurd that as soon as they found out whom actually wrote the poem they acted like 5 year olds. I wonder if they realize how completely immature and ignorant they seem to other people. Glad I do not live in Utah (not trying to offend those that do), but what horrible people to have running the state and I hope nobody looks up to them as role models. They acted shameful and pathetic.
Ah, Ally. Figure and ground. Given the context, be inspired by the courage!
Very good, inspiring piece.
If you enjoy this, you would probably enjoy another poem called “Shake the Dust” by Anis Mojgani. It’s a slam poem, so here is a performance of it
That is exactly what I thought of when I read it. I personally prefer his 🙂
You should just look up Andrea Gibson on Youtube. She’s a performance poet, so her enactment of her work as she reads it is half the poem. She won the Women of the World Slam as an example of her acclaim.
Yeah I know of her, I’ve seen her live. she’s phenomenal.
How dare you spill your ignorant words on this beautiful poem.
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Oooh… gives me tingles.
It’s so cool that you all left a message. I loved this poem and I loved that so many people love it too.
thank you so much for this, it was wonderful. This woman has true talent! Loved it!
Thanks, Nicolette. This poem has been ‘one of those moments”.
WOW. Says so much with such simple words. I’m glad I read this.
Damn, this poem was terrible. [ ] don’t know when the [ ] have already won, do you?
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Trite, cliched drivel.
And the context?
Does it? I didn’t notice. Did you notice where it was read? The whole thing was pretty courageous, I thought.
beautiful poem – except for the fact that it rails against atheists. you don’t have to believe in the imaginary to stand in awe of life.
wow…..wow…this is so, beautiful….i dont have soft heart but this was so epic
this brings tears to my eyes.
After reading this (aloud), I feel lovely.
I don’t believe in a God, I’m bisexual, and I generally avoid contact with others, to the point where reading it aloud was a strain on my voice because I don’t think I’ve talked uninterrupted for so long in a very long time. However, even if it’s only for a short amount of time, I feel at ease with the world.
Thanks for posting.
Hey everyone that digs this poem!
The end of “Say Yes” is in a song by Lynx called “Half Full” It’s on her first album called “Grain of Sand”
I highly recommend it!
Lovely poem, I do wish the line read “notes” instead of “note” though. As a professional pedant I would like to point out that, by definition, a chord is made up of more than one note!
Did I reply to you? It’s a bit hard to see on WordPress. Notes on Say Yes. Would have killed the line?
Pretty stunning bit of activism though!
a good presentation of awareness, sensitivity, strong feelings. sometimes intelligent and incisive. gross undertone, or rather, tone of combativeness. there are glimpses of beauty but it seems elusive in the predominant restlessness and bitterness with a personal touch.
i wish you all a loving home to get back to after the campaigns, to people with strong and beautiful spirits who can take the difficulties of reality in their stride and create a nursery of beauty for their children in the midst of the battlefields that surround us, so that hope is never soiled with bitterness.