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January 21, 2009



it really did suck...
glad i'm not alone in this setiment...

Jonathan Steinke

The poem is far more affecting when read than when spoken. Then again, Alexander could have spoken it better, not in a more agressive tone but a more celebratory one. Her reading was very tepid.


Tewtally agree with Jonathan. The words are good, the delivery was not great.


stitching up a ham?

Rev. Hellbound Alleee

I got one.

Didn't care for da wordz at all. So I made my own translation.


I watched the inauguration live here in the UK. I looked forward to the inaugural poem: I was hoping for a truly memorable poem like "The Gift Outright”which Robert Frost read at Kennedy's inauguration. As Elizabeth Alexander read, "We cross dirt roads and highways"...I said aloud, "like a chicken." As she said, "that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side".. I said, "like a chicken".She continued, "I know there's something better down the road"..."like a chicken", I repeated. Actually, the poem is much better with the response added after the following lines. Viz:

We need to find a place where we are safe
Like a chicken.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see Like a chicken.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light

Like a chicken.

Suzie Crews

Art Verschoor

The line breaks are the only recognisable poetic feature in this poem; it is entirely prosaic in every other respect. It fails to evoke an emotion from the reader and while this poem may be following accepted standards of some extremely prosaic contemporary poetry, it cannot be classified as poetry; moreover, no audience will seriously believe that these insipid lines can be associated with art. Indeed, any audience could be forgiven for thinking that the reason that such prosaic poetry has become so prevalent is that anyone can now become a poet.

Jonathan Wall


quick, somebody run it through songsmith!!


another obama poem


Er, stupid question: how do I get the straight mp3 of the poem to remix? Am I missing something?

Vicki - DO or DIY

Chris - play the youtube footage from above and use some software that records your computer system sounds, and save it as an aiff or similar. For instance for Mac there is free software called WireTap. Someone please advise on software for PC.

Jonathan Wall

On Windows computers you can go to your Volume Settings (the little speaker icon that very often sits in your taskbar), go to Options - > Properties, change "Adjust volume for" to Recording, and then make sure that "Stereo Mix" is checked. Then select "Stereo Mix" as your mic input. The volume needs to be really low usually.


if chris or anyone wants an mp3 of the original, i upped a rip here:


Cheers. This is gonna be fun.


"by all accounts" it sucked? not by my account. wbai arrogrance and cultural fascism again rears its ugly head.


Yikes! Clunky, awkward, and pedestrian, with a delivery to match. This is considered good poetry these days?


I've seen better poems on but overall I prefer contemporary poetry in the UK.


Sorry, Poetry Daily has changed its url to It's a great site: it offers a new poem every day, has a good archive, interviews, and prose features. I subscribe to its free weekly newsletter.


While all the new mixes are good ( and Fats, that Horshack rendition had me chuckling from the first sentence ), Rev Alleee really nailed it down. Makes me want to take a crack at it...hmmm.....


Jonathan Wall's remix was excellent. Very representative of the real thing.


tracks 2 and 16 don't work...

Babs Toyfish

Here's my offering.

It's called "I Need to See What's On the Other Side" or "Inaugural Cough".
Backing drone from White Hills Gnod - Subordinate Contact

Giant Pygmy

I sent in mine via SendIt but thought I'd post the link too.
"Inaugural Poem (This National Grievance)"



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