John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisited

By Paul Harper; Joann P. Krieg | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The President

I was born in the southern winter
fourteen days before the oath of office.
When he died I did not know him
or myself,
And so I could not later recall
with a fond sadness
where I was when I heard the news,
for the news had already aged into history.
He was at once far and near,
fixed in the black and white photographs
of my history book,
yet sparkling in the eyes of my teacher
who remembered.

Over the years I have gathered him up
like a child collecting four-leaf clovers.
I have taken the words written about him,
and his own words, and the photographs.
and I have pressed them all together
trying somehow to bring him back to life.
And there were times
when he almost came to life.
But there were missing pieces,
the sound of his voice.
the manner of his movements.
So I kept gathering,
until twenty years had passed since his death.
Then he appeared in the television documentaries,
speaking, moving, laughing.
As I watched,
he became real and alive.
Then it happened,
and I wept at his vicarious death.

Tim Cleaveland

November 22, 1983

Tim Cleveland is an alumnus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. He is currently serving in the Peace corps in Cameroon. The poem was sent to the Hofstra University Cultural Center by his former English professor, Dr. Don W. Der.

-327-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisited
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 362

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?