Friday, January 23, 2009

What Is Everyone's Final Verdict On The Inaugural Poem?

I'm torn. I think it's a very interesting poem, but it didn't move me. There is some beautiful language here. I think folks should take their time deciding about this poem, I think that it's a piece that needs a long reflection and consideration. What do you think?


lincolnperry January 23, 2009 at 4:17 AM  

The poem didn't have the same impact as Maya Angelous during Clintons Inaugural!

Claudia January 23, 2009 at 7:26 AM  

PT, I couldn't agree more. This is the kind of poem that requires long reflection and consideration. Her delivery wasn't great, but who wouldn't be nervous in that moment? I actually think that it offers some fascinating connections between how we speak, but don't listen to one another, and how we make new and fresh starts despite our daily trials. ("Take out your pencils. Begin.")

If nothing else, Alexander has started a national conversation about poetry - what could be better than that!?

When you have a moment, I hope that you'll also check out a new post that I wrote on another inaugural poem by Kwame Dawes. I think that many folks who were a little disappointed by Alexander will find this one more satisfying:

wisdomteachesme January 23, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

hey PT!
i loved the poem.
i have read many opinions concerning the poem since she read it.

i understood it and i think the delivery of the poem threw some people off.
the woman was obviously nervous-excited!
who wouldn't be?

to be asked to write a poem just for this occasion--and then to read it aloud in front of all those people!--a great honor--

she wanted to make sure her enunciation was clear.
she didn't have a soul sister voice-with gospel tones and i think some people were looking for that.
she had a classical tone in her voice.
other than that, it is a matter of what a poem is to each person. what style of writing people are drawn to.

And you know--some people just don't have culture and wide experiences in the arts.

And, some people will have a negative take on just about anything in order to be opposite of what others think.
Art Is!
i think she did a wonderful job & i loved the poem.

Saran January 23, 2009 at 8:42 AM  

Professor Tracey, maybe it was the delivery???
You are right, there is some beautiful language there, but until I just read it for myself, I really didn't care for it much.
While reading it, I imagined it being spoken in a more passionate tone, with more emphasis at certain points. When I heard it on Tuesday, it sounded kind of flat - like just a bunch of words.
I think if the delivery had been different (with more feeling), it would have gone over a bit better.

TJ January 23, 2009 at 11:56 AM  

Had High. Expectations. Was Very Disappointed. Think it was. The. Delivery.

Hadassah January 23, 2009 at 3:57 PM  

The poem is good but the delivery was dull. She didn't deliver it with an Umph!! I thought the poem itself was well written for that occasion but her delivery messed it up when I first heard it I was like dang she screwed up.

wisdomteachesme January 23, 2009 at 4:09 PM  

one more thing, maybe 2. :D

i dont' think it's right or correct to compare her to maya. that is like comparing prince and stevie.
both are great musicians in their areas--they are not in the same music style catagory

same with the poets.
Also, i think we are going to see Many Different kind of black people coming out of the background of life because of the Changes that are taking place.

so many people are not used to the diversity of our people in every area of living. Everybody that is black does not need to look, sound, or act black.

By Black, I mean as 'we' have been conditioned to accept only as black. that is a slave/bondage mentality-

Many people=black and white are not used to seeing, hearing, learning from those of us that have been hidden away behind ghetto fabulous crap.
that is so 1d.

So before people start to bash what is different-ask yourself are you really ready for Changes to happen in your life?
Are you ready to learn new things, learn how to do old things in new ways? Learn to let go of things that are not helping you but that live within your heart and mind?

It does take Courage, Confidence and Faith to walk into the Changes that are being made availiable to us all.

I know that if i have High expectatins for others then i MUST have them for myself!

once again, what i learned yesterday will not take me far if i stop learning today!
i apologize pt for taking up much space--the teacher in me jumped out! lol

you just can't grow anything is dirt--it must be soil!

on feet of peace-always seeking to encourage!

rjweems January 23, 2009 at 6:49 PM  

Whether it was delivery or content, I don't know. I do know that the inaugural poem was flat and uninspiring. No one expected Alexander to be another Angelou, we just expected her to give us a great poem to mark the day. And that, imo, didn't happen.

Saran January 23, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

You are correct, everybody that is black does not need to look, sound, or act black - and we don't, that's what makes us so unique.
Reading a poem with passion or with some "umph" as another commenter stated, doesn't mean that she has to have that soul sister tone.
I believe for the most part we all agree that it was a beautiful poem. However, just as when reading a fairy tale to a child, the delivery brings life to the words and will enable you to hold that child's attention.

TD1016 January 23, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

It didn't get me. I think I had expectations too. I thought the words were good but the overall feeling and tone for the poem wasn't there.

Now that benediction was wonderful.

wisdomteachesme January 24, 2009 at 8:13 AM  

i understand what you and the others are saying.
and just as any other art form it is an individual like or dislike. no aruguments there. with all things in our world some will like it some will not.
nothing new there.

if some were not inspired and some were that is usually the way any form of art goes.
it seems many are being hard on her. we all had different expectations -some where met some were not.
this Whole inauguration was so new & different in many aspects for this country i didn't know what to expect from anyone-as we have never had one like his before.
who would have thought the c.j. would mess up on the oath.
it just seems to me that the woman was nervous and excited and that had a lot to do with her delivery.
giving her some support is always better than downing her.

everyone is not a public speaker. maybe it's not her strongpoint.

yes i know all about reading/teaching to children and how to hold their attention. i did it effectively for many years.
it's the adults attention span and the ability to change, that concern me.
again, it's just a matter of a difference of seeing and opinion.
i can respect and accept others opinions that differ from mine.
again, its an art form.

BLKSeaGoat January 24, 2009 at 8:30 AM  

The poem was good and was great improvement over Dr Angelou's rock, river, tree mess. I think her delivery was a hot mess, but I got past that and concentrated on the words.

I think if Dr. Angelou had read the same poem it would have been received much better.

BLKSeaGoat January 24, 2009 at 8:31 AM  


Haaaaaaaaaaay PT! Call me when you get the chance.

BLKSeaGoat January 24, 2009 at 8:46 AM  

That benediction reminded me of the reverend from that scene in the Princess Bride.

Dr VJ January 24, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

Hi PT!

The poem did move me. It was just what I needed after a day so rich, so stimulating, so filled with varying emotions. I'm a poet and I found that Alexander's poem was like eating lemon mousse after a wonderfully rich, spicy, filling meal.

The poem was refreshing in its quiet delivery.

Isn't it great to see such differently talented black women on the national stage?!

I appreciate the fact that "at last" we get to see from the President an appreciation of diverse people.

Christopher Chambers January 24, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

Perfect piece. Should have been recited by someone else, however. hell, even James Earl Jones.

cinco January 24, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

I think that when poetry is read we expect the words to appear to flow. There's little appreciation for anything else unless poetry is something that you enjoy reading,

When she was selected I researched her background and found that she teaches in my state. Her bio is impressive and I know people who have taken courses and trainings conducted by her and the reviews are positive.

I think it speaks well of the committee to reach out to our diverse culture and exhibit talent. If it weren't for President Obama many would not know of her or have even followed the program.

But I agree reading the poem is easier to comprehend the possible intent.

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