Poetry doesn't have to be insipid, bland, perfunctory, and self-lampooning, but it always manages to be!
I thought it was quite nice, I appreciate the work of words.
R5. Yes, of course. He's a civilized human being.
Despite his ginormous ears and age-inappropriate hairstyle, I think he's an attractive guy. That said, his "poem" was laughably bad. It was schizophrenic pablum that was immediately forgettable.
Unfortunately, there have only been 3 Inaugural Poets. History will forever remember Robert Frost and Maya Angelou, but Richard Blanco ensures that he's only be remembered as a token selection---chosen as a representative of gays and Hispanics rather than his talent.
Personally, I think Maya Angelou's poetry is nothing to right home about. She's a pretentious old biddy.
I feel an "Oh dear" coming on...
Personally, I think someone who doesn't know the difference between "write" and "right" should have no credibility as a literary critic.
His very pock-marked cheeks do not detract from his attractiveness, OP?
Were you sitting close enough to the TV?
That's good if you find that it does not diminishe his attractiveness.
He certainly was self-confident reading his poem in front of millions. He didn't seem nervous at all.
sorry, typo, diminish
Haven't there been four inaugral poets? 2009's by whats-her-name was truly awful.
Read the poem. It's surprisingly good.
But I'm not surprised to find knee-jerk anti-anything gay here on DL.
r16 nailed it. It is time for a DL break for a while. The atmosphere around has become even more toxic than election season.
I didn't see or hear the poem, but I think DLers in particular and gay people in general are quite capable of assessing a poem's merits without regard to whether the author is gay, and don't view everything through some gay (or anti-gay) prism.
I'm a little tired of hearing I'm "anti-gay" if I criticize anything a gay person does.
[quote] DLers in particular and gay people in general are quite capable of assessing a poem's merits
If you were to think that, you would be sorely mistaken.
R9, and I remember that Robert Frost was an asshole who got a fellow professor fired just for being gay.
Indeed, R19. Look no further than the Sexton/Plath thread here on DL.
Blanco's inaugural poem was wonderful. And very appropriate for the day.
The poem reminded me too much of Gene Hackman's monologue in The Birdcage about the joys of highway travel in the U.S.
I think you should google for the fulltext of the poem and read it.
I think you'll find the poem much better when you read it and absorb what he is saying.
LOL, R23. That monologue is what I think of whenever someone is boring me!
One would think a competent poet could manage to recite his own poem in a way that doesn't induce drowsiness. But even in written form, the poem is completely forgettable (don't even get me started on the cheapness of including a passage on the Newtown tragedy).
R20 He was pissed because the guy rejected him. He even wrote a poem about it: "The Load Not Taken."
R25: I do that too. Gene Hackman's delivery was perfect.
That poem that Beyonce wrote was beautiful and what a clever idea to sing it!
OP, I completely agree. Not only was he handsome and confident, but his poem was expansive, inspiring and lovely.
By the way, I love that Maya Angelou was NOT selected. The country has so many unappreciated writers and poets, I hate that the same uninspired choices usually chosen.
[quote]And he has protease face.
No, that's not true R2. You weren't even looking at Richard Blanco. Your syphilitic brain disease had you looking in your mirror instead of at the TV.
He's openly poz so "protease" face isn't exactly an insult.
It's obvious that the Freeper meant it as an insult.
"Mr Bianco was conceived in Cuba"
Aye papi, aye!
Richard Blanco is Cuban; born in Madrid, Spain in 1968.
In the poem "Queer Theory, According to My Grandmother," he described how his grandmother warned him as a young boy: "For God’s sake, never pee sitting down.../I’ve seen you" and "Don't stare at The Six-Million-Dollar Man./I’ve seen you." and "Never dance alone in your room."
Agree, OP. No matter the flippintry here, as with R22, Blanco's poem was "expansive, inspiring and lovely." I was glad to see him confident, rather handsome. He certainly acquitted himself well. What a fine moment for him!
R33, Maya Angelou would not be chosen by Obama - she already provided a poem for either Carter or Clinton on inauguration day and recited it.
[quote] Maya Angelou would not be chosen by Obama - she already provided a poem for either Carter or Clinton on inauguration day and recited it.
Pussy hound. Big Hillary supporter.
[quote]Personally, I think someone who doesn't know the difference between "write" and "right" should have no credibility as a literary critic.
Go and douche. Your pussy stinks worse than my spelling.
R38. Great post quoting Blanco's grandmother:
"For God’s sake, never pee sitting down.../I’ve seen you" and "Don't stare at The Six-Million-Dollar Man./I’ve seen you." and "Never dance alone in your room."
Someone who uses such tired phrases as "nothing to [write] home about" shouldn't really be critiquing someone else's use of language.
Oh get off your high horse. Shit happens when typing quickly.
I think he did a great job reading it - and he is handsome - but the poem was very basic in nearly all regards. I think that that's a limitation of the occasion, though... He has to appeal to all the dullards out there, and not to an audience that would appreciate fine poetry.
I can never forget how horrible that poem Maya Angelou wrote for Clinton's inauguration was.
She is a wonderful memoirist and essayist, but a terrible poet.
[quote]the poem was very basic in nearly all regards
Agreed. It didn't soar.
I looked at his face again. He doesn't have pock-marks - he has some sort of ravaging.
Richard Blanco was just interviewed by Anderson Cooper. Anderson seemed so "connected" to Blanco - and I just don't mean he was sexually attracted to him; but it was a great interview.
I saw that too R50, AC seemed very proud of him and he's been talking a lot about the President including Stonewall in his speech.
It's a difficult job to write an inaugural poem.
The poem has to be widely accessible but avoid banality. It has to reveal the poet's voice and personal stamp but only in the most humble and self-effacing way as it is a national not a personal anthem. It has to be patriotically rhapsodic while avoiding insipid jingoism and the trite generality of packaged Americana.
Blanco did a fantastic job.
Link to text and/or video?
Nonsense R52. The job of a poet laureate is to create ART. Nothing else matters.
Just saw his face close-up during the entire Anderson Cooper interview of him.
And yes, indeed, he is handsome. (the lighting on the inaugural podium must have been weird for him because he looks a million times better in the Anderson Cooper interview)
He has a very nice face. No ravaging.
"The job of a poet laureate is to create ART. Nothing else matters."
True, but yesterday he was not serving as our poet laureate. He is a poet reading an occasional poem to be heard by millions of people and immediately grasped.
And the fact that what he produced was easily accessible does not make it other than art.
You are confusing obfuscation with a posited requisite sophistication.
No one critical of the poem has said anything concrete about what was flawed with it. Why not argue why it was unartful instead of these ad hominem attacks? That is, if you have a genuine opinion.
Natasha Trethewey is the poet laureate.
it didn't rhyme too good
Nice hairy forearms
I just saw a clip of him talking to Anderson Cooper on CNN. He was dressed in a tuxedo, and looked really, really good.
Anderson interviewed him last night. Blanco is even sexier than when he read his poem. Very well spoken.
Continuing on the tour, he was just interviewed by Thomas Roberts.
When is MY turn???
Does his latin heat makes you nervous?
He's good looking, in that Cubanesque kind of way. Fucking gorgeous hair.
Dyes his hair, yes? Sometimes silver. Now, not so much...
I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
The one text of the poem. So annoying, the Newtown massacre which nobody will remember, the odd personal slash at useless fathers apparently referring to the president's, the bizarre image of the moon tapping on everybody's window, the germy feel of "one breath," the coded(?) reference to rainbows and fruits, the tawdry commonplace of one sky and trite star mapping....Richard, Richard, you shoulda had a vodka tonic before you sat down to write what your mother rang up groceries and your cut sugar cane (not in America) so you could do.
[quote] the bizarre image of the moon tapping on everybody's window
That's actually pretty good.
The moon taps at nobody's window.
It's an obvious failed mixed metaphor.
R78, the moon taps at lots of windows. It just doesn't tap on yours because you're so fat.
Is there such a thing as a properly done mixed metaphor, R78?
Wow that's really advanced commentary R79. Walter Banjamin had nothing on you.
Of course if Blanco was referring to his own father's inadequacies he was reinforcing the absent father stereotype of gays as well as undercutting the sugar cane commentary.
Presumably he should have more fruits lined up in his rainbow to more accurately reflect the rainbow flag. Probably cut out on the final draft.
Well, R81, this is Datalounge, home of pointless bitchery, and there's no Walter "Banjamin" here.
R77 Sounds like he'd just watched "The Owl and the Pussycat."
"The sun spits morning into Julian's face ..."
Except that was a successful mixed metaphor by comparison.