- Bread and Roses ~ James Oppenheim
- As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
- A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
- Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
- For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”
- As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
- For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
- Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
- Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
- As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
- Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
- Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
- Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for roses, too!
- As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
- The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
- No more the drudge and idler — ten that toil where one reposes,
- But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!
There is a rose bush by my place, squeezed between the street, sidewalk and parking lot.
I walk by it almost every day.
I love this rose bush.
It tickles my senses: a heavenly scent – rich and velvety, a vibrant magenta colour.
And it’s hardy…it blooms every year, sandwhiched there, with no one really taking care of it. Tenacious, grounded. The poem, Bread and Roses, and it’s symbolism, has represented many a cause .
Like the poem, my rose bush reminds me that not only do we need function, we also need beauty.
Today, stop and smell the roses.