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Poem of the Presidents
in 50 Stanzas
by Werner Poegel
For Presidents’ Day 2022
Poem of the Presidents
in 50 Stanzas
by Werner Poegel
To honor United States of America Chief Executives,
I present a series of 4 line Stanzas as poetic descriptives.
One after the other each have chosen to serve,
All natural born and to age 35 have achieved.
I’ll start with the first and proceed to the last.
To understand the future we must know the past.
All varied in background, ideas, and talent.
Affecting our nation’s people and every event.
Oh George Washington the Nation’s Father was,
Right after success of our noble cause.
First in war and then first in peace,
In our American Hearts to never cease.
John Adams from the second in command,
To now second President of the new Land.
Was part of the Declaration’s risky designing,
Only to leave us fifty years after its signing.
Thomas Jefferson third of the Presidents,
Doubled the vast land for our residents.
Corresponding on matters long with Adams,
So close both left life same day as friends.
James Madison became President Four,
At the height of only five feet four.
Father of the U.S. Constitution so created,
And saw the War of Eighteen Twelve ended.
The Fifth President of the United States
Also on July Fourth went to the Pearly Gates.
James Monroe issued a noted Doctrine.
And oversaw five new states to the Union.
Son of our President Number Two,
John Quincy Adams, diplomat is true.
Number six served but a single term,
Then 17 years in U.S. House we learn.
Man of many roles, Congress, Senate, Judiciary,
Also a Famous General in the U.S. Army,
Our Seventh President Andrew Jackson,
Sought the rights of the common man.
Martin Van Buren became number eight,
Was on the Democratic Party slate.
An important anti-slavery leader,
Credited as the two party seeder.
Sloganed Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,
His serving 31 days was too few.
William Henry Harrison President Nine,
Was fated to die well before his time.
John Tyler, President Tenth by succession,
Vetoes overridden his major constriction.
Signed Treaty of Peace, Commerce with Chinese Empire,
Bold Manifest Destiny and adding Texas major desire.
Former House Speaker and Governor James Polk,
President Eleven of Jacksonian democracy spoke.
Extended the Country through Mexican War,
Even Oregon Territory stretched nation so far.
Military hero was 12th President Zachary Taylor,
Died 16 months later from digestive failure.
Preserving the Union his priority longing,
Secession he stated not nation prolonging.
13th President was Millard Fillmore,
To him Slavery was an evil sore.
Helped to pass Compromise of Eighteen Fifty
Leading to truce over expansion of slavery.
Considered among worst for pro-slavery tact,
Franklin Pierce enforced Fugitive Slave Act.
14th President Pierce some did despise,
As Kansas-Nebraska Act nullified Missouri Compromise.
Notable agenda of 15th President James Buchanan,
Advocated States rights, particularly slavery again.
At end of his term while as a lame duck we question,
Ignored demands of the South and stopped not Secession.
Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth to be sure,
Led divided nation through American Civil War.
Admired for preserving union, abolishing slavery,
Cut down early by a bullet while watching a play.
Our 17th President Andrew Johnson,
Succeeded statesman Abraham Lincoln.
Opposed guaranteed equality for the races,
By one vote escaped impeachment’s disgraces.
Showing ability with horses and leading Union to Victory,
18th President Ulysses S. Grant promoted civil liberty.
Created Justice Department and helped restore Union.
Protected African Americans during Reconstruction.
After wages were cut and Railroad Workers in Seventy-seven struck,
19th President Rutherford B. Hayes used army for luck.
This staunch abolitionist praised for reforming civil service.
Criticized for Southern state leniency and voting rights course.
Five month 20th President James A. Garfield,
Aptitude had in geometric mathematical field.
Pro education, agricultural tech, civil rights action.
Died from assassin’s gunshot progressing to infection.
He retired respected by political friend and foe,
21st President Chester A. Arthur did show
Civil service reform and rebirth of U.S. Navy.
Serving without scandal or project too wavy.
Serving two terms just not after each other
22nd Grover Cleveland and 24th yet another.
Known for honesty and adhering to his morals
Defying party boundaries not sitting on laurels.
Grandson of the ninth 23rd President Benjamin Harrison,
Hallmarked Sherman Antitrust and McKinley Tariff legislation.
Lost popular vote but got more electoral than Cleveland.
Saw six western states added to the National brand.
Spanish-American War 25th President William McKinley.
Gained Puerto Rico, Guam, Phillippines and added Hawaii territory.
Pro business and industry growth marked his presidency,
Until this innovator was killed by assassin intent on anarchy.
26th President Theodore Roosevelt was busy and youngest at forty-two.
Conserving national parks, forests, monuments among projects anew.
Square Deal of citizen fairness, regulating railroads, food, and drugs.
Expanded the Navy, began Panama Canal, broke trusts from thugs.
27th President William Howard Taft served in many capacities for us.
As solicitor, judge, governor, secretary of war, later Chief Justice,
Groomed for the office by President Teddy before conflict aroused,
Over differences conservative and progressive views each espoused.
Credit 28th President Woodrow Wilson for Federal Reserve and modern income tax,
Led the nation into World War I after Germany’s American merchant ship attacks.
Signed Federal Trade Commission Act promoting competition and limiting power.
Helped form League of Nations to maintain the world peace with one another.
Along comes the 29th President Warren G. Harding,
Who after death 2 years into term received a scolding,
For a number of scandals exposed including Teapot Dome,
And an extramarital affair beyond the family home.
30th President Calvin Coolidge born on Independence Day,
Received nickname Silent Cal because of very little to say.
Small government conservative oversaw rapid and expansive growth,
Known as Roaring Twenties and maybe onset of Depression both.
Holding office during start of country’s Great Depression,
31st President Herbert Hoover an engineer and politician.
Influenced the development of air travel and modern radio.
Lost reelection and lived to age ninety before letting go.
32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt won 4 Presidential elections,
Implemented New Deal agenda responding to economic afflictions.
FDR held fireside chats, got televised, dealt with World War II missions,
Oversaw Pentagon construction, and world’s first atomic bomb inventions.
From first selling clothes to 33rd President of the nation,
Harry S. Truman, took over and then won his own station.
Had to drop first atomic bombs to help end World War Two
Oversaw Berlin Airlift, Marshall Plan, and economic challenges few.
Five Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower became President thirty four,
Wished to contain communism spread, considered nukes to end Korean War.
Authorized forming NASA which lead to the Space Race,
His interstate highway system program was put in place.
Catholic John F. Kennedy debated on tv and became 35th President,
Served at height of cold war including Cuban Missile Crisis incident.
Presided over starting Peace Corps and continuing Apollo program,
In Dallas near end of 3rd year in office died from assassination.
Former teacher, Congressman, and Senator became 36th President Lyndon Baines Johnson
Domestic policy including civil rights, public broadcasting, and aid to arts and education.
Great Society of Medicare, Medicaid, public service and signing Civil Rights Act of 1964,
Development urban and rural along with escalated involvement in Vietnam War.
37th President Richard Nixon had first manned moon landings,
Noted for visit to China improving diplomatic standings.
Ended U.S. involvement in Vietnam War and used détente for peace,
Established EPA, but due to Watergate scandal resigned office in disgrace.
Never elected but became 38th President Gerald R. Ford,
Noted for signing special education and Helsinki accords,
Presided over growing inflation and worsening economy,
Remembered for Pardoning Nixon creating controversy.
39th President Jimmy Carter pardoned Vietnam evaders on day two,
Camp David Accords, returning the Panama Canal would ensue.
Plus stagflation, energy and hostage crises, Three Mile calamity,
After retired, 30 books, and key figure in Habitat for Humanity.
Sports commentator, Hollywood Actor and 40th President Ronald Reagan,
Was fiscal conservative advocating less of taxes, spending, and regulation.
Reaganomics helped secure second term win with 525 electoral landslide,
Survived attempt on his life and challenged Soviets to open Berlin Wall wide.
41st President George H.W. Bush helped end Cold War and reunify Germany,
Presided over invasion of Panama and Gulf War with foreign policy driving Presidency.
Reneged on campaign promise not to raise taxes and lost reelection,
Worked alongside opponent Bill Clinton for humanity upon reflection.
42nd President Bill Clinton had longest period of peacetime economic expansion,
First time in 40 years lost Congress to Republicans while winning landslide own election.
Impeachment for obstruction and perjury in scandal ended in a Senate acquittal result.
Left office with high approval and budget surplus last 3 years of office by account.
43rd President George W. Bush was shaped by a single tragic event,
Because of September 11th, war to Afghanistan and later Iraq went.
Co-owned Texas Rangers, flew planes, was governor, and oilman as a profession.
Signed No Child Left Behind and Patriot Act before nation entered Great Recession.
From state to U.S. Senate, 44th President was African American lawyer Barack Obama.
Challenged by economic woes, signed bills to create, relieve, and recover from dilemma.
Known for bills such as the Affordable Care Act and drone strikes in foreign lands.
Filed briefs urging Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans.
First office held by businessman Donald J. Trump was 45th President,
With campaign slogan Make America Great Again, America First was evident.
Authorized oil pipelines, reinforced border security, began the Big Wall,
Reduced regulation, appointed lots of Federal judges, and said it all.
After 50 years in politics, the 46th President is Joe Biden,
With one year in office, sees his public approval slidin’.
Withdrew the last of U.S. forces from Afghanistan,
And is dealing with Covid challenges again and again.
Who will be our next President and Commander in Chief?
The future’s unwritten, the challenges beyond belief.
The campaigns will occur and we’ll make our selections.
Until President is picked during our national elections.
Happy Presidents’ Day to those who have served us,
No matter the party, ideas, skills, or resources.
Thank you for preserving, protecting, and defending,
Our Constitution for American generations never ending.
Happy Presidents’ Day
“Poem of the Presidents” is an
original work by Werner Poegel 2/13/22
Copyright Werner Poegel 2022