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How do I love thee, my good old hometown?
Years ago, you were a place of renown.
In later decades, butt of Martin’s jokes.
But basically, the home of decent folks.
More conservative, in general, than
Debs, Dreiser and Wilson — radical men —
who might be dismissed as fools or dreamers,
who might be feared as dangerous schemers.
Terre Haute was their home too — this high earth
gave labor leader, writer and artist birth.
Though buildings that they knew have been destroyed,
their ideals can be fruitfully employed
to take our hometown a level above.
Happy Valentine’s Day, with all our love.