Unlock to stream instantly
Already unlocked? for access

Give as a gift

$0After unlocking, you'll have 7 days to start watching. Once you begin, you'll have 5 days to finish watching. Need help?

The former National Poet Laureate and official national treasure Rita Dove stars in this week’s Poetry Moment, featuring her poem “Lady Freedom Among Us.”

In an episode of The Writing Life, Dove explains to fellow poet Michael Collier that in 1993, she walked down to see the massive bronze statue of Freedom. The statue was lowered from its perch atop the U.S. Capitol Building by helicopter in May 1993 for repair and cleaning.

Dove thought the statue looked disheveled and dirty, rather like a homeless woman, and was inspired to write a poem.

Freedom, who wears a helmet of stars topped with an eagle’s head and a robe trimmed in fur, holds a sheathed sword, a laurel wreath, and the shield of the United States. On Oct. 23, 1993, when the buffed-up and repaired statue was lifted back onto its pedestal atop the Capitol building, Dove read her poem for the ceremony.

Dove visited HoCoPoLitSo audiences in 1999 and in 2015. In this clip, Dove reads her poem about the statue, “Lady Freedom Among Us” from her book On the Bus with Rosa Parks.

— Susan Thornton Hobby

Producer of The Writing Life

  • Year
  • Runtime
  • Language
  • Country
    United States