We Have A Dream

A collaborative poem from the hearts and minds of Shaw

MLK Jr. Week DisplayWhen I think of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., I think of vision, of unity, and the spirit of collaboration.  As a librarian, I think of how public libraries possess not only the power to enhance our capacity for creative thought, but to promote a sense of community. I think of how this rare institution represents one of the last remaining havens for public gathering and critical dialogue.

With this in mind, we decided to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Week this year with a project encouraging creative vision, collaboration and a focus on community.  We mounted a display, featuring a magnetic poetry board containing words used in King’s famous 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream.”  Children, teens, and adults were invited to participate by rearranging the words to form their own unique statements of hope for the future.

Throughout the week, the board continued to spark questions and discussion.  What constitutes a poem? What does injustice mean?  How has our world changed for the better? What is a vision; what is mine? The following poem represents a patchwork of creative content contributed by individuals young and old throughout the week, who were passionate enough to share their dreams.     


Elaine Pelton

I have a dream today
America and guaranteed promises
Join hands

When those see the path
Of new beginning
Joyous daybreak
From the struggle of discontent

We will be the greatest
Our marvelous nation

We will not be satisfied until
We become knowing
Of freedom
And majestic pursuit of opportunity

Now is the beginning
Opportunity
Rooted in tomorrow

Seek to the beautiful night places

Solid rock
Of freedom and faith
Transformed into symphony

All will join hands
In our hope for freedom
Sisters and brothers and friends
Guaranteed greatest heights

Demonstration of joyous democracy
Nation demand justice
To become marvelous

Now is the freedom
Democracy deeply dark
Legitimate justice of revolt

Sisters and brothers
Knowing friends
Not struggle

We will not be satisfied until
Happiness of brotherhood
Promises that we will be free at last

Tomorrow
Will allow
The transformed soul
Who struggle
Become the greatest friends

A new revealed beginning
Refuse to become degenerate
The soul deeply revealed
Hope for children, brotherhood

I have a dream today
We see together
Our promises of beautiful oasis
Every path of freedom and hope
 

--Composed collaboratively by Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library customers during the week of Jan. 14, 2013.