El 20 de Enero 2009 la Poetisa y Profesora Elizabeth Alexander leyó un poema después del Discurso Inaugural del Sr. Presidente -un discurso emocionante el del Sr. Presidente Barack Obama, que discutiremos cuando haya tiempo.

Elizabeth Alexander es solamente el Cuarto Poeta que lee un poema durante la ceremonia presidencial. Los otros fueron Robert Frost con John F. Kennedy, Maya Angelou con Bill Clinton y James Dickey con Jimmy Carter.  Obama y los otros son Democrats, parece que a los Republicans la poesía no es lo de ellos.


Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander
A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.


España debería aprender también en esto de los EE.UU.  La ceremonia de toma de posesión de nuestros presidentes de gobierno parece que firmaran un contrato temporal en el INEM seguida de ágape en el Palacio Real. Y desde luego no existe en España -dicen que tierra de poetas- nada equivalente a la figura del Poeta Laureado británico, creada por cierto por Ricardo Corazón de León y que durante diez años ensalza y ameniza a la Corona.

Por Armando

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