Richard Blanco, chosen to deliver a poem for President Obama’s second inaugural address, was, as his bio says: “….made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States—meaning his mother, seven months pregnant, and the rest of the family arrived as exiles from Cuba to Madrid where he was born. Only forty-five days later, the family emigrated once more and settled in New York City, then eventually in Miami where he was raised and educated.”
It is a difficult (and some would say unenviable) task–being the master poet selected to capture the American moment in a poem, and he will be the fifth poet to try, following the footsteps of Robert Frost (John F. Kennedy), Maya Angelou and Miller Williams (Bill Clinton) and Elizabeth Alexander (Obama) but, from what I’ve seen of his work, he’s a terrific poet to do just that.
What a wonderful, amazing fire must be burning in this poet’s heart today, as he sets to the task. I hope great creative currents swirl around his words, his heart, his voice. Today I’m getting to know Richard Blanco better, his beautiful lyricism, his stories, his voice, his way of making the past present, his palpable imagery.