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Indiana State Poem


Indiana State Poem: "Indiana" Arthur Franklin Mapes

Written by Arthur Franklin Mapes

Adopted in 1957.

"INDIANA" by Arthur Franklin Mapes of Kendallville, adopted by the 1963 General Assembly as found in Indiana Code 1-2-5-1.

Arthur Franklin Mapes, whose official state poem "Indiana"helped earn him the title of Indiana poet laureate, captured the flavor of life in Kendallville, Noble County and the state in the late 1800s in many of his poems.

Mapes, who died Jan. 4, 1986, at the age of 72, authored the poem "Indiana"in 1963, when it was adopted as Indiana's official state poem. Later, in 1977, the state decided to honor Mapes as Indiana's poet laureate.

Indiana State Poem: "Indiana"


God crowned her hills with beauty,
Gave her lakes and winding streams,
Then He edged them all with woodlands
As the setting for our dreams.
Lovely are her moonlit rivers,
Shadowed by the sycamores,
Where the fragrant winds of Summer
Play along the willowed shores.
I must roam those wooded hillsides,
I must heed the native call,
For a pagan voice within me
Seems to answer to it all.
I must walk where squirrels scamper
Down a rustic old rail fence,
Where a choir of birds is singing
In the woodland . . . green and dense.
I must learn more of my homeland
For it's paradise to me,
There's no haven quite as peaceful,
There's no place I'd rather be.
Indiana . . . is a garden
Where the seeds of peace have grown,
Where each tree, and vine, and flower
Has a beauty . . . all its own.
Lovely are the fields and meadows,
That reach out to hills that rise
Where the dreamy Wabash River
Wanders on . . . through paradise.

Origin of "Indiana"

Arthur Franklin Mapes, a lifetime resident of Kendallville, Indiana, worked 33 years as a machinist at Flint and Walling Mfg. Co. . His hobby was poetry and he wrote about the things he knew, the town and state he loved, and his humble beginnings. Other poems include Our Town, which he wrote for the 1963 Kendallville Centennial, and Blacklegs, about Kendallville's "Sassafras John Bates". The Indiana General Assembly recognized Arthur Franklin Mapes as Indiana Poet Laureate in 1977 with House Concurrent Resolution No. 63.

Indiana Law

The law designating the poem,"Indiana," of Arthur Franklin Mapes, Kendallville, Indiana, as the official Indiana state lpoem is found in the Indiana Code, Title 1, Article 2, Chapter 10, (Section 1-2-5-1.

Chapter 10. State Language

Indiana Code: IC 1-2-5-1
Sec. 1. The poem of Arthur Franklin Mapes, Kendallville, Indiana, the title and text of which are set forth in full as a part of this section, is hereby adopted as Indiana's official poem. It reads as follows:
(Formerly: Acts 1963, c.220, s.1.) As amended by Acts 1982, P.L.2, SEC.6.

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