[NATL] The Inauguration of President Barack Obama

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Parade and Ceremonial Swearing-in Held January 21, 2013

Miami-Raised Poet Richard Blanco Recites Stirring Obama Inauguration Poem

Richard Blanco recites "One Today" at inauguration

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Miami-raised poet Richard Blanco recited a poem of unity that evoked his childhood and the spirit of America.

    Miami-raised poet Richard Blanco represented the Magic City in stunning fashion Monday at the second inauguration of Barack Obama, reciting his poem of unity that evoked his childhood and the spirit of America.

    The poet, who was born in Spain to Cuban exiles, recited his poem "One Today" at the ceremonial swearing-in of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

    "One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores, peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies," the poem began. "One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story told by our silent gestures moving behind windows."

    Click Here to Read the Full Poem

    Blanco, 44, is the youngest inaugural poet and the first Latino and LGBT poet.
     
    Blanco's parents emigrated to New York City days after he was born then settled in Miami. He later attended Florida International University, and now lives in Maine.

    His parents and their story were a large part of "One Today," as the two were mentioned throughout.

    "One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes tired from work: some days guessing at the weather of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother who knew how to give, or forgiving a father who couldn’t give what you wanted," Blanco said.

    The poem also touched on the recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

    "All of us as vital as the one light we move through, the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day: equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined, the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming, or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain the empty desks of twenty children marked absent today, and forever," it read.

    Before the inauguration, Blanco said he was speechless when he was told he'd be delivering the original poem, according to the Miami Herald.

    "It took me 10 minutes to remember what the word for inauguration is in Spanish,"  Blanco told the Herald.

    He also spoke about his mother, Geysa, a Cuban exile who gave him strength.

    "She is a very brave woman and has worked hard all her life for my brother and me," Blanco said.

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