January 19, 2009

Inauguration Poem

Many of my poems are topical, but I have an unfortunate habit of writing poems for specific occasions just in time for the event celebrated. This makes them hard to put into the hands of interested readers and virtually impossible to sell. A favorite poem of mine, for example, is “2001,” about the (mostly political) events of 2001. I thought it a good year-in-review piece, but I only started writing it on December 31, and I didn’t think anyone would want to publish such a poem in February or March.

True to form, I wrote a poem in honor of the inauguration of Barack Obama yesterday. The inauguration, of course, is tomorrow. I had thought of writing a poem about the President-elect before now, but I seemed to need the inspiration provided by yesterday’s We Are One concert. I rather like “Hail Barack Obama,” which was also influenced by my having been reading Ogden Nash.

Anyway, I invite you to read the poem. For the moment, Obama seems widely admired, but I should warn readers that the poem is decidedly partisan. Here’s a sample couplet:

Obama’s a thinker, not just a decider;
He’ll bring us together, not be a divider.


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