Glosses and Conjectures on the Inaugural Poem

Arcade excerpt
In Gawker's, wry estimation, most of the U.S. simply didn't "get" Richard Blanco's inaugural poem "One Today." In the Washington Post's absurd trollgazing account, Blanco's poem merely signals the "death of poetry." Perhaps this is because the Post imagines the polity as something more like a giant Nielsen Family than a potential readership. In any case, popular media seems to suffer from an allergy to engaging with the actualities of the poetry itself. In Blanco's case, it is as if the symbolic fact of a very handsome gay Latino man on stage rendered illegible the symbolic imaginary of his verse. No one seems willing to suggest that at the least, Blanco offered a carefully modulated rhetorical performance that can only be characterized up to a point by the pith of the Twitterati. Mike Chasar's Onionesque post on his Poetry & Popular Culture blog ("Breaking News: Did Richard Blanco Lip-Sync the Inaugural Poem?") lampoons an amorphous public willingness to swap a conversation about the authenticity of the poet's mere presence for a sustained evaluation of his poetry.

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