Liberty: A Found Poem*
The history of liberty is a history of resistance, for
Essential liberty guarantees freedom of the people.
Those who deny freedom to others remind people of great danger
To the rights of citizens.
Those who give up liberty deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Little, temporary meaning without understanding
Can encroach safety-
To obtain a free society the government must fear the people.
It is safe to be unpopular;
There’s a clear zeal, not for themselves, and
A society is not free unless we protect liberty.
Deserve it: Guard freeness of speech, for
Liberty has never come from the government.
*“Found poems” are created by using an existing source or multiple sources and rearranging words to produce a poetic text, often in free verse. My original source for the found poem about liberty is “20 Quotes on Liberty and Freedom in Honor of Independence Day” by Jeffrey Dorfman. I extracted the quotes offered by American citizens, reduced the text into short sentences, and then arranged them to create the poem. You may see parts of one of the most famous quotations about liberty: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin’s words ring true, today and always, as we consider what it means to have liberty and be free.