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It’s a literary day

December 18, 2008

The news is out that Elizabeth Alexander, a finalist for the Pulitzer in 2005, will be reading one of her poems at Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Now if only Mr. Obama could talk to our own dear leader about the value of the arts.

Here is one of Alexander’s poems:

Ars Poetica #100: I Believe

Poetry, I tell my students,
is idiosyncratic. Poetry

is where we are ourselves,
(though Sterling Brown said

“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I’”)
digging in the clam flats

for the shell that snaps,
emptying the proverbial pocketbook.

Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,

overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way

to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)

is not all love, love, love,
and I’m sorry the dog died.

Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,

and are we not of interest to each other?

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2 Comments
  1. December 18, 2008 1:46 pm

    What a great poem! It gave me goose bumps. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Cicciolino permalink
    December 18, 2008 5:14 pm

    I feel what you believe Elizabeth Alexander!

    Mille Grazie.

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