Richard Blanco


     It is wonderful to know that Richard Blanco will do his reading for the inauguration of President Obama for 2013.  I had to dig around for Blanco’s work some, and truly enjoyed what I found.  Of course, loving poetry the way I do, it is a tad embarrassing to say, I had to do a little reading on inaugural poetry readings. 
     What I found very interesting is that the first inaugural poetry reading was in 1961 by Robert Frost for President Kennedy.  The United States Senate had already passed a resolution naming Robert Frost “America’s great poet-philosopher.”  Even more of interest to me was the fact the Attorney General assisted Frost in a successful campaign to release Ezra Pound, who at the time was under indictment for treason, from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.  I love reading Ezra Pound’s ‘Cantos’.
     While catching up on all of this, I also realized there have only been very few readings since then for inaugurations for presidents. Blanco will be only the fifth poet to read at an inauguration.  Bill Clinton invited Miller Williams in 1997 to perform a reading.  Then again in 1993, Maya Angelou performed a reading again for Clinton.  Elizabeth Alexander done a reading for Obama during his first election.  Then, of course, having Frost recite ‘The Gift Outright’ for John F. Kennedy in 1961, has made four thus far. 
     I look forward to Blanco’s piece of work for this year’s inauguration.  I believe for Kennedy, Clinton, and now for Obama that having a poetry reading shows a great deal of culture and class.  I can truly respect anyone that includes the art of poetry into their lives.  Also in the community of Poets of G+, one of our moderators +AJ Walker has left us the challenge or prompt of writing our own inaugural poems, once of course Richard Blanco has performed his.  Being interested in this prompt as well as looking into everything the prompt required, I am proud of the findings I ran across.
     As they say, there are no stupid questions………… or maybe now they say ‘google’ it. lol. 

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20540

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/dec/18/obama-inauguration-alexander-poetry

     







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