1. Richard Blanco tells Terry Gross about trying to find the balance between what of himself to put into the inaugural poem and what to leave out:

One of the hardest challenges of the poem itself overall was how to at once put myself in there, but realizing that this poem isn’t about me, it’s about our country,” he says “… Part of the process that I went through was deciding what was important enough to me that I felt I needed to put in there. Of course the first impulse was — because I was the youngest, first openly gay, first Hispanic or Latino — the first impulse was, ‘I have to represent all this in the poem,’ and sort of be more of an in-your-face kind of poem. Then I took a step back from that and I realized, ‘Well, yes, it’s all those things, but I think there’s a larger platform here, a larger sense of what America is that I need to come through in the poem.

Image of Obama’s second inauguration by GJB Photography via Flickr

    Richard Blanco tells Terry Gross about trying to find the balance between what of himself to put into the inaugural poem and what to leave out:

    One of the hardest challenges of the poem itself overall was how to at once put myself in there, but realizing that this poem isn’t about me, it’s about our country,” he says “… Part of the process that I went through was deciding what was important enough to me that I felt I needed to put in there. Of course the first impulse was — because I was the youngest, first openly gay, first Hispanic or Latino — the first impulse was, ‘I have to represent all this in the poem,’ and sort of be more of an in-your-face kind of poem. Then I took a step back from that and I realized, ‘Well, yes, it’s all those things, but I think there’s a larger platform here, a larger sense of what America is that I need to come through in the poem.

    Image of Obama’s second inauguration by GJB Photography via Flickr

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    Richard Blanco

    Inaugural Poet

    Inauguration