Bill would designate official Minnesota state poem

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Minnesota has an official state drink (milk), state butterfly (monarch), and state fruit (honey crisp apple). (Click here for more state symbols.)

Should the state have its own poem? State Sen. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo, thinks so, and he has a specific one in mind, the Associated Press reports. A bill he introduced Wednesday would designate Cordell Keith Haugen's 45-line "Minnesota Blue" as Minnesota's state poem (read it below).

A debate on the topic would likely bring forth a number of other contenders. Something by Robert Bly, perhaps? Bly, 86, a native of Madison, Minn., who lives in Minneapolis, recently won the Poetry Society of America's prestigious Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry, the Pioneer Press noted.

"Minnesota Blue"

Minnesota, how I love you
Minnesota, I've been away too long
How I miss your clean fresh air, your lakes and rivers too
How I miss your Minnesota Blue

Do your golden fields of wheat and corn
Still shimmer in the early morn
Waving to the clouds as they drift by
Do moose and bear still rule the earth
In the Red River Valley of my birth
Do the Northern Lights still dance across your sky
Does the North Star still guide you
Do your farmers still provide you
With the way of life that we all learned to share
Do they still follow the Golden Rule
And dress up each week for Sunday School
Do your families still give thanks for living there

Are your skies still free of smoke and haze
Do your old folks still remember days
When your skyline was a grove of Norway pines
Does the North Wind whistle through your trees
Can you still smell wildflowers on the breeze
Do bass and pike still play with fishing lines
Do your children still walk the rails
Or discover hidden Indian trails
Do canoes glide through Minnesota streams
Can you hear the cry of the lonely loon
Do wolves still howl at your full moon
Is Viking Land still Mother Nature's dream

Do you still have dairies and rolling hills
And mines and quarries and flour mills
Do you still brew the best of America's beers
Do bobcats still cry at night
Does snow still fall so soft and white
Do icicles hang like crystal chandeliers
So many of yours have left to roam
But they still call Minnesota home
Like geese that fly above your lakes and wilds
And for every one of your million stars
There's a prairie son who's traveled far
Oh, please remember this Minnesota child.

Minnesota, how I love you
Minnesota, I've been away too long
How I miss your clean fresh air, 10,000 lakes and you

How I miss my Minnesota Blue
Oh, how I miss my Minnesota Blue

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