The Inaugural Poet

Senator Schumer:
Our next distinguished guest
is the poet Richard Blanco who will share with us words he
has composed for this occasion. Richard Blanco:
I had to write sort of a
poem that had a little — that had tension in it but
that it was also a poem of unity and of love and a kind of
poem that the occasion demanded. Not so much, you know, a
critique or not so much of an autobiographical stance. And so when I was writing the
poem I felt like, well, I could reach back all the way to the
pilgrims or something like that. And I said, and so but I wanted
to do something contemporary. I wanted to do something what,
I think, you know, being the youngest poet selected. That sense of trying to capture
where our generation is now and, of course, and I think that’s
evident in some of the sort of in the air with the
Administration, with Obama. So I wanted to keep it, you
know, I wanted to pay tribute to the past but at the
same time I wanted to keep it something very contemporary. Something that captured, you
know, that one day of what is our one day’s today, you know. So… “One Today”
One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains…

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