September 1, 2016

The State Poem: Indiana by Arthur Franklin Mapes

Arthur Franklin Mapes, a lifetime resident of Kendallville, Indiana, worked 33 years as a machinist at Flint and Walling Mfg. Co.. His hobby was poetry and he wrote about the things he knew, the town and state he loved, and his humble beginnings. Other poems include Our Town, which he wrote for the 1963 Kendallville Centennial, and Blacklegs, about Kendallville's "Sassafras John Bates".


Sugar Creek

BY Arthur Franklin Mapes 
    God crowned her hills with beauty,
    Gave her lakes and winding streams,
    Then He edged them all with woodlands
    As the setting for our dreams.
    Lovely are her moonlit rivers,
    Shadowed by the sycamores,
    Where the fragrant winds of Summer
    Play along the willowed shores.
    I must roam those wooded hillsides,
    I must heed the native call,
    For a pagan voice within me
    Seems to answer to it all.
    I must walk where squirrels scamper
    Down a rustic old rail fence,
    Where a choir of birds is singing
    In the woodland . . . green and dense.
    I must learn more of my homeland
    For it's paradise to me,
    There's no haven quite as peaceful,
    There's no place I'd rather be.
    Indiana . . . is a garden
    Where the seeds of peace have grown,
    Where each tree, and vine, and flower
    Has a beauty . . . all its own.
    Lovely are the fields and meadows,
    That reach out to hills that rise
    Where the dreamy Wabash River
    Wanders on . . . through paradise.
~Arthur Franklin Mapes