Unfortunately, that headline is not followed by a photo of Richard Blanco and me draped in bath towels, side-by-side in the mirror and shaving. I’m sorry to disappoint (myself). No, this is supposed to be a more family-friendly post for Global/National Poetry Month.
The Monkey and I are doing a project in which we choose the same poet each week, and then each record a different piece by said poet. You can go back and listen to the results on both of our pages. In fact, we’d truly love it if you did that. We put a lot of brain power into selecting two living and two dead poets for this project. The dead poets wouldn’t get back to us, and we’re hoping that the two living poets don’t mind.
The chosen poet this week is a favorite who we both got to meet a few years back in State College, Pennsylvania. When he became the inaugural poet for Barack Obama I felt as if I were somehow, by extension, included in the honor. A gay poet, reading for the president. I was seeing one of “my own people” up there, being given the respect that this country historically has failed to give us. More importantly, although we were the very last in a long line of admirers at the recent reading, he was gracious and kind and took an interest in my son and his own writing. This at the end of what must have been a very long day for him at Penn State.
Besides all of that, we just find his poetry so enriching. We hope you do too. Click here to listen to Micah’s lovely reading of Blanco’s poem, “Burning in the Rain.” As for my choice, the following piece seemed exactly right for this father-son effort. The text is not available online, but please, do yourself a favor and purchase a copy of the book for yourself. You can do that at one of the numerous places conveniently linked to from Blanco’s own website here.