“I Have a Rendevous With Death.”-Alan Seeger

Pete Seeger’s uncle, Alan Seeger was an American poet who just so happened to have written one of President JFK’s favorite poems,“I Have a Rendezvous With Death.” When President JFK spoke at Harvard in 1956, he said, “If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a better place to in which to live.” JFK’s love of poetry was evident at his inauguration when he had Robert Frost recite a poem written for this special occasion, the first time a poet spoke at an inauguration. It has been written that JFK would ask Jackie to read Alan Seeger’s poem to him from time to time. Near the end of the 1956 Harvard Commencement speech, JFK recalled a story of a mom in England:  “…an English mother recently wrote the Provost of Harrow. “Don’t teach my boy poetry; he is going to stand for Parliament.” As we all remember where we were on this tragic day in the Nation’s history and in the lives of the Kennedys, let us remember the poetry:

When Spring comes back with rustling shade

And apple-blossoms fill the air”-Alan Seeger

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