There were few things that interrupted the regular schedule of classes while I was in high school. One of them was Bill Clinton's inauguration. I have a very clear memory of sitting in the small school's library, watching Maya Angelou read On the Pulse of Morning. I was 14 years old, and a bit confused as to why this famous poet was there, reading about a rock and a river and a tree. But it was a good confusion, brought on by wonderful things not normally seen in our nation's public life.
Luckily, we'll again have a similar experience, when Elizabeth Alexander reads her inaugural poem. The New York Times quotes her as saying, “Writing an occasional poem has to attend to the moment itself, but what you hope for, as an artist, is to create something that has integrity and life that goes beyond the moment.” Read the article.
For those of you who are local, the Florence Poets Society is also putting on a poetry reading in celebration of the inauguration. Western MA poets will celebrate Obama's inauguration by reading and listening to original inaugural poems.
Inaugural Poetry Day Celebration
Tuesday, January 20, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Updated information: Leslea Newman will be hosting the celebration at the Yellow Sofa instead of at Thornes. It is sponsored by Leslea, Florence Poets Society, and the Northampton Arts Council. Please keep working on those inaugural poems!