Books Jan 30, 2013 at 4:00 am

Richard Blanco and the Recycled Inaugural Poem

Dude, come ON! Sam farzaneh


We go on hurting each other
We go on hurting each other
Making each other cry
Hurting each other
Without ever knowing why

Close than the leaves
On a weepin' willow baby we are
Closer dear are we
Than the simple letters "A" and "B" are…
I was there. It was terrible. Everyone was looking at each other silently wondering if the inauguration committee had vetted it or not. When it was (finally) done he got the most awkward applause, a combination of "glad that's over with" and "we'll superficially yet audibly show you appreciation". I'm glad it's only once ever four years.
I thought his poem was good. But what do I know? I'm just a scientist who likes to write. To be honest, I was surprised by the response, since I did like it. People are weird and expect strange things from words.
He said on the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour that he was asked to submit three poems and this was the one the White House chose. That sounds like it's the White House's fault that they sound the same.
I liked it. But I'm not a poetry snob.

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