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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:32 PM

Obama Picks his 2013 Inaugural Poet

WASHINGTON — From the moment Barack Obama burst onto the political scene, the poet Richard Blanco, a son of Cuban exiles, says he felt “a spiritual connection” with the man who would become the nation’s 44th president.

Like Mr. Obama, who chronicled his multicultural upbringing in a best-selling autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” Mr. Blanco has been on a quest for personal identity through the written word. He said his affinity for Mr. Obama springs from his own feeling of straddling different worlds; he is Latino and gay (and worked as a civil engineer while pursuing poetry). His poems are laden with longing for the sights and smells of the land his parents left behind.

Now Mr. Obama is about to pluck Mr. Blanco out of the relatively obscure and quiet world of poetry and put him on display before the entire world. On Wednesday the president’s inaugural planners will announce that Mr. Blanco is to be the 2013 inaugural poet, joining the ranks of notables like Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/books/richard-blanco-2013-inaugural-poet.html?smid=fb-share

Nice pick, Mr. President...



RL

21 replies, 1817 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama Picks his 2013 Inaugural Poet (Original post)
RetroLounge Jan 2013 OP
rocktivity Jan 2013 #1
R_Flagg_77 Jan 2013 #2
Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #3
R_Flagg_77 Jan 2013 #4
Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #5
Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #8
GReedDiamond Jan 2013 #10
Mrs. Overall Jan 2013 #11
Son of Gob Jan 2013 #13
RetroLounge Jan 2013 #19
longship Jan 2013 #7
Mrs. Overall Jan 2013 #6
hfojvt Jan 2013 #14
Poll_Blind Jan 2013 #9
RetroLounge Jan 2013 #12
hfojvt Jan 2013 #15
RetroLounge Jan 2013 #16
karpool Jan 2013 #17
RetroLounge Jan 2013 #18
karpool Jan 2013 #20
RetroLounge Jan 2013 #21

Response to RetroLounge (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:38 PM

1. ...while Sarah Palin pouted.






rocktivity

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Response to RetroLounge (Original post)


Response to R_Flagg_77 (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:54 PM

3. You're right, we should just have robots do the whole thing.

Maybe have Panera cater, and a coffee urn station.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:02 AM

4. Well no...

 

There is a certain amount of prestige to this occasion, and I don't begrudge closing off the national mall for an inaugural ceremony nor the security to keep it a safe event. But to hire a friggen poet... Really? Having a military band play a few songs won't quite do it?

If I recall correctly Mr. Obama is going to pay for the inaugural ball out of his remaining campaign funds, and that's fine by me. His money, his party, his choice. But friggen poet on the government payroll? What benefit is that to anybody paying taxes in return for government services... You know like well maintained roads and utilities.

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Response to R_Flagg_77 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:04 AM

5. This is not a place for fiscal conservatism. nt

 

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Response to R_Flagg_77 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:09 AM

8. You're right.

Maybe just some "Married With Children" reruns?

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Response to R_Flagg_77 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:13 AM

10. Let me guess...you are "Taxed Enough Already"...

Last edited Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:19 AM - Edit history (1)

...and therefore are automatically against big gubmint funding of the arts, or even the recognition of the significant artists amongst us, because you have pothole and drainage ditch backhoe problems which you feel should be paid for/fixed by the same big gubmint you don't want to pay taxes to?

RIGHT?

And "Mr." Obama is PRESIDENT Obama.

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Response to R_Flagg_77 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:27 AM

11. Maybe the "friggen poet" will read a love poem about a gun--

will that make this whole inaugural poetry thingy a little more palatable for you?

(Sorry to be snarky, but I can't believe poetry has to be defended on DU. I work my ass off in the art world for no compensation and threads like this really piss me off)

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Response to R_Flagg_77 (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:32 AM

13. The inauguration isn't being paid for by taxpayers

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Response to R_Flagg_77 (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:54 PM

19. What a dumbass post

PFO

RL

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:08 AM

7. Or a reverend or two to bless the whole thing.

Say some prayers as well. And make sure the Chief Justice of SCOTUS says "so help me God" at the end of the oath, which just happens to be proscribed, word for word, in our very Constitution which has precisely zero mentions of god. Not even in the oath of office.

Screw all this religiosity in government. I despise all of it. It sucks!

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Response to R_Flagg_77 (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:04 AM

6. Poets have traditionally been part of the inauguration--Robert Frost read

at Kennedy's inauguration. Going back to ancient Greece, poetry has had its place in state events. Another tradition is our US Poet Laureate, who reads at certain government functions and who actually composes poems based on holding that position. The Poet Laureate also often works with school kids--introducing them to writing and the creative process as an outlet for their experience.

I'm definitely a believer in the importance of art in a culture, whether that be writing, visual art, drama, dance, music. I think it's part of our "soul" as a nation, as a people. Also, artists tend to be social critics and visionaries--an important function in a country. One of Hitler's first actions was to rid Germany of all artists as he didn't want any expression that would counter his agenda.

I also wouldn't worry that what little bit Mr. Blanco might be paid will in any way "bankrupt" the government or even pay for road work. Poets, believe me, are rarely paid for their appearances nor do they receive many royalties on the few books they sell. The US doesn't really devour poetry, not compared to Ireland or the UK.

Congratulations, Richard Blanco! Your poems are amazing!
http://www.richard-blanco.com/

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Response to Mrs. Overall (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:50 AM

14. sadly, that link does not seem to include any poems

perhaps I could listen to some

if I was not rocking out to Def Leppard right now.

I sorta doubt if I would like it. I still think poetry should rhyme, after all.

But what the heck anyway, most of my poetry is probably didactic doggerel which would make Percy Shelley or John Ruskin wanna stuff my mouth with Leaves of Grass.

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Response to RetroLounge (Original post)


Response to RetroLounge (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:49 PM

12. Kick

I see even a poet brings out the teabaggers...



RL

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Response to RetroLounge (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:07 PM

15. I wonder if he has a little black book with his poems in it

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:53 PM

16. What does that mean?



RL

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Response to RetroLounge (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:01 PM

17. Pink Floyd

 

You've never heard of Pink Floyd???

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Response to karpool (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:53 PM

18. No, who is he?



RL

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Response to RetroLounge (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:19 AM

20. It's a band.

 

For real?

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Response to karpool (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:36 PM

21. I'm sorry, do I *need* the sarcasm tag?



RL

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