O, See
can you say
what I’m hearing?

Hear, O
can you see
what I said?

O Say,
she said can
you see me?

He said, O
why can’t I see
what they’re thinking?

yes, but
O what
about US?

©David Braden, 2017

David’s Sound Poetry has appeared in various festivals and on-line magazines. His sound, text and visual poems can be found at: His third CD, “3 Lectures” was produced this Summer, and can be streamed (and purchased) at:
Artist Statement: 
“Other Anthem Variations” reflects my interest in creating “multivalent” texts which maximize the possibilities for readers to interpret the poem, and create meaning for themselves. “Other Anthem Variations” does this through the use of pronouns which can refer to a limitless number of specific people. Keeping each stanza/sentence in as an interrogative further opens the poem up to individual interpretation.
Although the abstract quality of the  poem can be about whatever the reader wants,  it deliberately echoes the  opening clause of the National Anthem which touches on the historical and contemporary myths which both bind us together and keep us separate. In this reading, the questions then are both a source of hopeful possibility as well as fear of uncertainty – two poles that our nation seems to perpetually lurch back and forth between.

One Response to “Other Anthem Variations by David Braden”

  1. clever poem — and I like the concept and your reflection on it. Think I’ll try a variation for myself! carry on!

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