Even its best moments were pale, anemic Whitmanisms ("sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of") and her slam-poetry cadence was like a bumpy wagon compared to the mellifluous magic carpet ride on the preacher-sounds of Obama and Rev. Lowery.

But it's a best-seller:

Alexander's publisher Graywolf Press is rushing out an $8 paperback of the poem on 6 February nonetheless, with a 100,000 first print run. With over two weeks to go before publication, the book is already the bestselling poetry book on Amazon.com; Alexander's new-found celebrity has also sent another of her titles, the 2005 Pulitzer prize finalist American Sublime, into the third spot.

Go figure.