The Takeaway
9:00 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Richard Blanco Wrote His Poem For The Inauguration, Now Here's Yours

Richard Blanco wasn't the only poet to pen a line for President Barack Obama's second inauguration. Last week, our partners at The Takeaway asked for your help writing a poem for the inauguration. 

The Takeaway wanted your help authoring a people's poem.
The Takeaway wanted your help authoring a people's poem.
Credit Ohmega1982 / freedigitalphotos.net

Poet Kwame Dawes wrote the first line--"Say 'nation.' In the Wake of quarrels, say 'hope'"--and the audience tweeted the rest of the lines.

The result was an unofficial, crowd-sourced inaugural poem which you can listen to at The Takeaway's website and read here:

A People's Poem for the Inauguration

Say "nation." In the wake of quarrels, say "hope."
Be not divisive nor divided.

Say "neighbor." Say, "What can I do?"
Doors open. Together walk through.
In the hurly-burly of the day's governing
remember the freedom of peace.

At the dawn of uncertain tomorrows, say "change."
While darkness floods our spirit, say "light" and shatter
all our scattering shadows.

Dream, "neighbor." In the face of fear, sing, "mercy."
Hear unity from voices that speak. 

Say that freedom, both the blessing and right,
remain the provenance of open minds.
Acknowledge the dreams that birthed a great nation — say "freedom." 
Speak it into action and watch our dreams reshape the future.

And heart in hand, for the sake of the young,
of the old,
of all those who
wade thru injustice's tide, say "freedom."

Say and shout and sing! Progress is a storm and our voices the thunder

Say "peace" for the hearts of a nation's people, in times of grief.
Say one, say all. To abandon hope is to further the fall
Say "take my hand" to the downtrodden, the lost.
Sing harmonies that blend in a spectrum of love.

In the dark of failures, say "try"; encourage, persist to light.
Say friend, my hand for your strength, your eyes for my light as we forward together.
Say hope is ours.
Wash away morose pessimism and the failings of the nascent.
Remember our virtue; remember our lofty intent.
In the wake of the struggle, speak, so that together we all may speak courage.

Say "hope," eyes turned not to the gauzy sky
nor to the brassy gates of power
but to the frost-bitten grass beneath our feet.

I need to hear, again, those antiquated words
in this new light.