Tuesday, January 29, 2013

One Today by Richard Blanco

 One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,... 

 and the rest is online plenty of places - but this has text and video http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/today-richard-blanco-poem-read-barack-obama-inauguration/story?id=18274653

Now why did I choose this poem? well - it goes like this, I'm absolutely fascinated with how you can kindle the sun over shores - and wondered if certain reading devices could be to blame - NO - of course that isn't it at all.

It's the fact that he is there.  A poet, quietly strutting his stuff in amongst the razamataz and media hype of the swearing in of the President of the United States.  Love it or hate it, there is a majesty in attempting to cram one day to the brim with life and wrestle the rhytmn of a country into a piece that must not only be uplifting but unifyingYes, I believe the poem failed.  There's too much, all juxtaposed, so that the structure seems to meander about like a lost puppy with a weak bladder.  But damn, it failed majestically, and maybe, just maybe it did the job the poet wanted of it - there is a sweetness there, and political acumen that must only be reserved for puppies.


A.J. Ponder's books are available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, Paper Plus and good Wellington bookstores.

P.S. Great to be back.  I might not be quite so regular a poet as last year.  Lots of projects going on.  But what can I say, great to be back for the New Year.



  1. Hmm well firstly what an awesome responsibility to poets and poetry and the US of A, he has taken on.
    For me it was a tad too long. However I loved the way he used light to draw everyone together and that also that it wasn't all about the nice things. I think America needs optimism and hope. We all do. and he certainly provides that and thought of togetherness so I have to disagree and say he succeeded.

    1. I hope so. I quite liked this review - it starts out not so good - and then says why the poem worked. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/21/richard-blanco-obama-s-historic-inauguration-poet.html

      “[It] was especially well suited to the occasion,” added Ramazani. “A more knotty or abstruse poem—even if it had a better chance of lasting or was more formally innovative, less conventional in its imagery or diction—would have missed the mark as an act of public address as well as poetry.”

      I still think of it as the puppy poem though. The poem that shouldn't work but is so sweet and sincere it somehow gets away with it - and you're right the togetherness aspect was a particularly winning. :)