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Obama Inaugural Poem by Elizabeth Alexander


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#16 dirac

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:30 AM

The Bushes were actually pretty good about promoting the high arts, on a personal level, with appearances at the Kennedy Center and invitations to the White House. Laura Bush was a great reader and well known for it. Policy was a different matter, and itís possible Obama could make a real difference there.

I had never seen or heard of Elizabeth Alexander before and I beheld a woman of great dignity who read a serious and powerful poem which though stilted at times in content and dellivery I thought was most fitting and I was truly impressed.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts from across the water, leonid.

#17 SandyMcKean

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 03:06 PM

Any thoughts?

I was very impressed by the poem. It has such deceptively simple words, and yet invokes immensely powerful "everyday" American images......images that in total can only be America.

I have had an inordinate interest for a long time in how we all create our lives, our very selves, with language; and in how our views are shaped by the words of others -- especially while we are still very young. From that perspective, these 2 lines struck me deeply (particularly the ending phrase of each line):
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All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.


#18 sandik

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 10:36 AM

Tangentially, I noticed that Obama's address has been printed in a nice little blue hardbound book.

But the twistiest part for me is that I saw it Wednesday, in a vending machine at the Seattle Center. ('culture campus' in Seattle -- site of 62 World's Fair, now home of several theaters and other venues) There were a couple other books in the machine, including a Seattle guide book, as well as the usual vendables. Forgot to look for the price...


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