No Poet at Inauguration 2017

There was no Poetry or Poet Laureate at the Inauguration.  I am pleased.  Do you remember the drivel from May Angelou, the gibberish from Elizabeth Alexander and the rubbish from Richard Blanco?

Long gone at the days of a Robert Frost in 1961.   He had written a poem for the occasion, “For John F. Kennedy His Inauguration”.  However, the light was so bright and it was so cold that he couldn’t read it.  Frost therefore recited from memory “The Gift Outright”, which he wrote 20 years earlier.

The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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38 Responses to No Poet at Inauguration 2017

  1. Thomas Sweeney says:

    We are on the same page in regards to inaugural poets. Also, Churchill’s bust is back in the oval office. As a conservative I look forward to President Trump, and I am far from sorry to see President Obama go.

  2. joekstl says:

    Nice that you like Churchill’s bust back in the Oval Office. Too bad that Trump has told Europe we no longer believe in Churchill’s vision of a united Western alliance. You will be sorry to have Obama gone.

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Where does one count from: from July 4, 1776, the Articles of Confederation from November 15, 1777, or March 1, 1781, from the Treaty of Paris, September 3, 1783, or May 14, 1784, the Constitution from September 13, 1788? Even if from the last, it is interesting to think there were a little over nine years’ overlap with the long-lived Republic of Venice.

  4. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    joekstl,

    The President has done nothing of the sort: or so, for example, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Denis Mercier seems to believe – AP quotes him agreeing that NATO has “some structures that are obsolete” and saying, “”We see that there is a need for adaptation.”

    And I can’t help thinking Churchill would take what the EU has come to be for an ineffectual bureaucratic monstrosity, and would not fear to agree with Jay and Lynn’s Jim Hacker in being pro-Europe and anti-Brussels.

  5. joekstl says: “You will be sorry to have Obama gone.”

    You gotta be kidding!

  6. gloriamary says:

    “drivel” LOL

  7. Kathleen10 says:

    joekstl, what an odd thing to say. Nothing could be further from the truth. But we need not belabor the point any longer with ex-president Obama’s fans. Think what you like.

    This is a happy day, even a joyous day. I truly believe God blessed us with Donald J. Trump as our president. He won’t be perfect, no one has been, but we have every confidence he is going to be as good as his word, and that’s good enough for us. He seems completely sincere about his love for America and our people, and after suffering someone who had nothing but contempt for our nation, this is an utter relief.
    It is a great new day in America, and we are celebrating it! The inauguration and the parade, the ball, it’s wonderful, all of it. God bless the man.

  8. Poor Yorek says:

    No poet, perhaps, but did anyone notice Gen. Kelly’s Sign-of-the-Cross made upon his completion of the Oath of Office (to Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security)?

  9. sirlouis says:

    No poet. Well, we’re making progress. Maybe the next time we can do without a “performance” of our national anthem. The whole assembly should sing it, not have it butchered — pardon me, “styled” by a performer. This particular inappropriate silliness seems to be peculiar to the United States. Granted, our national anthem is difficult to sing — too wide a tonal range — but the way to handle that is not to have a professional style it, but adopt a better national anthem. America the Beautiful would be much better in several ways.

  10. Nan says:

    According to that venerable source, Wikipedia, he’s Catholic. Lost a son in Afghanistan, on his first tour as US Marine Corps Infantry Officer. His oldest son is a Marine Corps Major. There’s another child, apparently not a Marine.

  11. Y2Y says:

    “joekstl, what an odd thing to say. Nothing could be further from the truth. But we need not belabor the point any longer with ex-president Obama’s fans. Think what you like.”

    He/she/it doesn’t think. He/she/it FEELS. Its opinions are worthy of nothing but contempt and ridicule.

  12. Cadillac says:

    I’m not sure I’d mind a poem read at inaugurations now except for the fact that the mostly dead culture of the west today isn’t likely to produce many worthwhile poets. Then if perhaps a decent one were to come along few these days would likely be able to deceiver what would be said!

    Also, I was impressed with (assumingly) Trump’s choice in music for the inaugural balls. I was beaming during the performance of “Mack the Knife” by the Lady in Red (wonder if that one was played too?)!

    @ “Poor Yorek” – Thanks for pointing that out; what a great sign (lol)! At least we know what it is the current US Secretary of Homeland Security believes is God; not sure the same could be definitively said of the last several. Here it is https://youtu.be/eEx4doHNqEY?t=49s

    A few of the first signs that common sense has perhaps returned to the White House.

  13. Cadillac says:

    Erm.. decipher*

  14. Vincent says:

    Joeksti, I’m English; Europe doesn’t pay its way in NATO. For a start, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain don’t pay anything like enough. Europe simply expects that the US will defend it in a scrap, and it’s about time somebody on your side of the pond put them on notice.

    I thought Trump’s address was very good. There were some beautiful lines and a real intent. I saw a photo of the swearing in and he looks much more serious about the oath than Obama did in 2009, so that’s a good start.

  15. Imrahil says:

    Dear sirlouis,

    good point ad 1. I disagree ad 2.

    The whole assembly should sing the anthem, of course. And all stanzas. It’s not so terribly long. (However, if you just have a band playing it, people just don’t start singing, and give the stare to people who do start singing. Something has to be done about that. Maybe a no-name choir would be better behind the microphone to encourage singing along. Or the assemblied armed forces units.

    But exchange the anthem for an easier one, and then such a beautiful anthem as the Star-Spangled Banner is? It’s not my business, but quite in general, apart from my personal nationality and all that, I think this would be a wrong course of action.

    It’s not that difficult. If People can sing the last two lines of a Silent Night stanza – and they can – they can sing the Star-Spangled Banner if they try.

    The solution is to learn singing.

  16. Kerry says:

    Yesssss,….now that B. Hussein O. is gone, the world order can be expected to collapse in mere moments. Heh.
    Former Marine and Catholic! The two greatest institutions in the world, the Catholic Church and the Marine Corps.

  17. Ages says:

    joekstl: There is no West anymore. The US and maybe Australia and New Zealand remain. The rest is the New Caliphate of Europe. We can’t pull their heads out of their own posteriors for them.

  18. Ages says:

    On the contrary, Cardinal Dolan read a beautiful poem at the inauguration.

    I wonder how triggered the atheists were, hearing prayer after prayer?

  19. VexillaRegis says:

    Bah, Star-spangled Banner is not difficult to sing -one octave and a 5th in range in a very Bb major key? Come on! The Icelanders can complain, though. Their national anthem stretches from the a below the staff up to g above the staff, that’s an octave and a 7th! The text is all about God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FkbXTDzKBc

  20. PA mom says:

    As much as I like poetry, that’s ok. I think we are in greater need of the extra prayer.

  21. APX says:

    Maybe the next time we can do without a “performance” of our national anthem. The whole assembly should sing it, not have it butchered — pardon me, “styled” by a performer. This particular inappropriate silliness seems to be peculiar to the United States. Granted, our national anthem is difficult to sing — too wide a tonal range

    I agree that the current popular method of “singing” your national anthem is an atrocity, and it does have quite the range on it (oddly enough it fits my peculiar range just wonderfully), but it is doable.The Boy Choir at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England and the congregation did a bang up job of singing it during their Memorial Service back in May.

    This is probably the best version I’ve ever heard sung. I never realized how short the American National anthem was without all the extra, uh, “embellishments”.
    https://youtu.be/qQwy9j-0rw4

  22. iprimap says:

    Joekstl wrote, “You will be sorry to have Obama gone.”

    No, I shall not be sorry that Obama is gone. He is an abortion supporting, sodomy sanctifying man of wickedness and depravity. Further, I did not vote for Trump (whom some without lack of a certain justification may call a “foul mouthed, unprincipled playboy gambler”) but instead for a 3rd party candidate: Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party. I did so because I thought that party’s platform was closest to Church teaching. That’s called putting principles before personalities, an AA slogan which surely we would do well to embrace (otherwise we wouldn’t have been in this fix of having to choose between a wicked witch of malice and deceit, and that so-called playboy gambler). And yes, I recognize that many may come to have buyer’s remorse with regard to Trump (he’s no Constantine yet he could be if he cooperates with God’s grace), but right now today he seems to be what the country needs. And let us not forget that the prophet Isaiah called pagan worshiping Persian King Cyrus the Lord’s Anointed. Imagine that!

  23. Nan says:

    Without the Star Spangled Banner, we’d lose witness to our history. The song was written after the Siege of Baltimore, memorializing the American win. Francis Scott Key expected to see the English flag flying in the morning but instead, saw the Star Spangled Banner.

    It became the national anthem due to its continuing use at military events.

  24. Kathleen10 says:

    America would never change the national anthem. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of playing our nation anthem at all sporting events and the Olympics. It is melded into our hearts and minds. Look at the faces of Olympic medalists to see how much it means. This is surely true for everyone who hears their national anthem. Nothing wrong with loving your country.
    Cardinal Dolan made a perfunctory sign of the cross. I actually enjoyed the prayers of the Protestants more, they actually mentioned Jesus Christ, some multiple times. I think it totality the content of the prayers spoke volumes about where we are and why.

  25. Kathleen10 says:

    *I should say, “a silent, perfunctory sign of the cross”.

  26. Ages says:

    While talking of anthems, I personally would favor a return to “Hail, Columbia” as our National Anthem (as it was before 1931).

    Hail Columbia, happy land!
    Hail, ye heroes, heav’n-born band,
    Who fought and bled in freedom’s cause,
    Who fought and bled in freedom’s cause,
    And when the storm of war was gone
    Enjoy’d the peace your valor won.
    Let independence be our boast,
    Ever mindful what it cost;
    Ever grateful for the prize,
    Let its altar reach the skies.
    Firm, united let us be,
    Rallying round our liberty,
    As a band of brothers joined,
    Peace and safety we shall find.

  27. Mike says:

    Concur with iprimap above. Opposing Trump to support Castle earned me scorn and anger, but voting isn’t a popularity contest any more than governing is. Our Lord will, I expect, judge me on whether I hung out with the cool kids, but I doubt that doing so will get me where He and I want me to go.

  28. Kerry says:

    iprimap, in his favor, at the very least whenever Obama spoke, he always ‘sounded’ like he was telling the truth.

  29. Chris Rawlings says:

    Dealing with the catastrophe of a President Trump will take a lot of prayer, patience, and, yes, poetry. I’ll take as much of all three as I can get.

  30. un-ionized says:

    Kerry, i always knew that obama was lying whenever he spoke. He never sounded truthful.

    Saying goodbye to everyone here, I am signing off.

  31. Fiat Domine says:

    I agree with you completely, Father. The jibberish, distorted thoughts and opinions and garbage in words was intead, replaced with Beauty – something missing from the world and even Holy Church these days.

  32. APX says:

    I actually enjoyed the prayers of the Protestants more, they actually mentioned Jesus Christ,
    Cardinal Dolan was asked to do a Bible reading. He read from the Book of Wisdom, The Prayer of Solomon. I was actually impressed he made the sign of the cross, even more impressed when that one preacher recited the doxology, and Cardinal Dolan bowed forward (something I hardly see any Catholic do), and bowed his head when someone did mention Jesus. Let’s give credit where credit is due instead of looking to find fault all the time. This is the type of behaviour that makes me not want to attend the Latin Mass. Let’s not be like that.

  33. SKAY says:

    un-ionized said:

    “Kerry, i always knew that obama was lying whenever he spoke. He never sounded truthful.”
    I agree.

    joekstl said:
    “You will be sorry to have Obama gone.”
    Not so—ever.

    Kathleen10 said:
    “I actually enjoyed the prayers of the Protestants more, they actually mentioned Jesus Christ, some multiple times. I think it totality the content of the prayers spoke volumes about where we are and why.”
    Interesting point and I agree. I appreciated the number of prayers that were said.

  34. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    un-ionized,

    I’m not sure of the scope of your last comment, here, but, if you read this, hearty thanks for your varied comments and conversation!

  35. un-ionized says:

    VSL, you are very kind. I am finding that reading this just worsens my sadness and isolation from what I have been through. I am going to just concentrate on my job (which I love and which has real meaning). I will go to Mass when I am up to it (my health deteriorates). Thank you.

  36. VexillaRegis says:

    Dear un-ionized, I concur with Venerator! I’ve found your comments to be very refreshing from all aspects. But I know that kind of sadness – it infiltrates your body and it takes years to get it out. Rest assured though, that you have many friends and likeminded on here!

    Peace, Vexilla

  37. un-ionized says:

    VR, (and I think of you as Vanilla King), thank you. God can fix everything though he has a just in time delivery schedule which does annoy. I will try to stay out from under steamrollers from now on.

  38. Semper Gumby says:

    Cadillac and Poor Yorek: Great video of Gen. Kelly. Kerry: You are a gentleman and a scholar.