inaugural poetry

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Today I’m attempting to hunker down and work on poetry — all day. What I keep finding myself thinking of, however, being distracted by, is how very very differently some people I love dearly see the world, from how I see it. The publications I read are not reporting jubilantly on the inauguration. Rather, there’s a keening lament, generally, for ethical leadership, for the dream of universal health care, for fair and equal public education, for Civil Rights. The only publications I see skewering Democrats are those displayed at the check out stand at the grocery store (disconcerting enough). So, I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. When I’m at my best, I would like to understand, in fact, I rather think that’s the poet’s job — to understand.

So, since those people aren’t here with me, I’ll share three things from my recent reading. First, a conversation between writer Marilynne Robinson and President Barack Obama from The New York Review of Books. I would also like to urge you to visit Loren Webster’s blog, In a Dark Time…The Eye Begins to See, for a look at some poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye, plus (if you scroll down) pictures of the natural world that are always able to lift my spirits. Loren’s blog title, all by itself (a quote from Theodore Roethke) reminds me of one path toward insight.

And, finally, a re-press from The Poetry Department…aka The Boynton Blog. This site will link you to another site, which has a video of a reading at the Library of Congress by poet Elizabeth Alexander. It begins thus:

Poetry will not be part of today’s inauguration ceremonies, but you can learn more about Poetry and the Presidential Inauguration on the Library of Congress website. And, of course, you can b…

Source: inaugural poetry

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