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“One Today” by Richard Blanco


Reading the poem One Today, I think that the most important phrases start with the word “one.” One sun, one ground, one sky. These lines mean that all people in the USA live in one state, and they are all united by this fact.

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The author also refers to Great Lakes, Great Plains, Appalachians and Sierras, Mississippi, and Colorado. These places have a symbolic meaning to America as they represent the beauty and unique character of its nature, and at the same time, make people proud of the unique land where they live.

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The author also appraises honorable, fair, and hard work, “thank the work of our hands.” The line means that the country emerged due to the hard labor of its citizens, and it should be viewed as a valuable part of American identity.

The poem also has allusions to the famous speech “I have a dream” as it described a better America with united people. The given lines also introduce the same idea that people should be united by the fact that they live under one sky.

The sixth stanza is devoted to the multinational nature of the USA. People can hear different words in different languages, as numerous people migrated here to have a better future. The author also had Spain as the language of his mother, which means that it is important to respect all cultures.

The poem also refers to the book The Audacity of Hope, as it states that hope is a goal that should be followed, similar to how it was mentioned in the text offered by Obama.

In the poem, the author states “or ring-up groceries as my mother did for twenty years, so I could write this poem,” which means that millions of Americans had to work hard, sacrificing for their families to ensure that they will remain free and be able to vote for their president.

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The line “One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes tired from work” seems the most luminous to me.


The author states that regardless of all differences that are peculiar to people living in the USA, they all live in the same state and are similar in their hopes and attempts to make their lives better. For this reason, the sky can unite us all and help to move forward.


Blanco, R., & Pilkey, D. (2015). One Today (Illustrated ed.). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

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