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For those who watched the Inauguration...

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:45 AM
  • 9 Replies

what did you think of the poem delivered by Elizabeth Alexander?  I haven't seen it even mentioned anywhere.  I thought it sucked when I heard it live, but after reading it I think maybe it was just her delivery??

Here's the text of the poem, "Praise Song for the Day"

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need
. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.





by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:45 AM
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Replies (1-9):
misssy2000
by Ruby Member on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:46 AM

I didnt like it but maybe I can read it later and see what it was about.


Reagan06
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:46 AM

It was the delivery of the poem.

korbynsmama
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:54 AM

bump...added transcript of the poem


korbynsmama
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:57 AM

And here's the video of her reciting it


bearandtreemom
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 1:57 AM

I thought it odd that the author of the poem has such an odd delivery. It has a great message and I really like it when I read it out loud or in my head...

korbynsmama
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 2:04 AM

You know what's funny is that I was just listening to the National Prayer Service the President attended on Thursday, and the pastor had a delivery just like it!! So maybe I'm out of the loop or something?  By the way, if you get a chance to watch/listen to the prayer service you should...the man who sings "Amazing Grace" is incredible!

Quoting bearandtreemom:

I thought it odd that the author of the poem has such an odd delivery. It has a great message and I really like it when I read it out loud or in my head...



BCGirl
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 2:05 AM

everyone is entitled to their own opinions, IMO I thought it was absolutely amazing.  Elizabeth Alexander is a well known, well accredited poet of the civil rights movement.  She is a rare breed of woman left that actually stood up in the face of oppression and spoke her mind.  I say Bravo! Ms.Alexander. 

korbynsmama
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 2:09 AM

I wasn't trying to criticize the author...I was just wondering how everyone else perceived it when they heard it live

Quoting BCGirl:

everyone is entitled to their own opinions, IMO I thought it was absolutely amazing.  Elizabeth Alexander is a well known, well accredited poet of the civil rights movement.  She is a rare breed of woman left that actually stood up in the face of oppression and spoke her mind.  I say Bravo! Ms.Alexander. 



korbynsmama
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 2:11 AM

Wintley Phipps singing "Amazing Grace" at National Prayer Service...this is WONDERFUL!!


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