Inauguration poem due from noted poet

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Noted poet Elizabeth Alexander said the poem she created for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration will not contain any particular themes.

The Yale University professor of African American Studies said while many of her prior poems have focused on themes of politics and race, the poem she created for Tuesday's ceremony in Washington is focused on language, not issues, the Houston Chronicle said Sunday.


"Poetry is meant to do something different. Even when it is powerful and direct, it is not meant to tell you what to think," Alexander said. "I don't come at it issue first; I come at it language first."

Alexander was asked to write the inauguration poem by Obama, who she knew from their days together in Chicago.

Alexander, who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her 2005 poetry collection "American Sublime," told the Chronicle her inaugural poem is concise and to the point -- just like Obama.

"In the same way that President-elect Obama's language is totally precise and full, it's also economical. He doesn't blather on, so neither will I," she said.


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