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Inauguration 2013

Out inaugural poet Richard Blanco pays homage to American experience

Monday, January 21, 2013
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WASHINGTON — Poet Richard Blanco has delivered an inaugural poem paying homage to the American experience.

Blanco, at age 44 the youngest ever inaugural poet, recited a poem that painted vivid scenes about America and included reflections on his experience growing up as Cuban exile in New York City and Miami.

President Barack Obama greets poet Richard Blanco on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, after Blanco's reading at the president's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.  (AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool)

Richard Blanco (left) and President Barack Obama, following Blanco’s reading at the president’s ceremonial swearing-in ceremony.
Photo by Win McNamee (Pool, via AP)

His poem, “One Today,” reflected on common American experiences, reciting: “My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors, each one yawning to life.”

Blanco was born in Spain but moved to the United States with his parents. He was an engineer before he took up poetry. Blanco is the first Hispanic and the first openly gay person to serve in the role of inaugural poet.

He has published three books of poetrywhile maintaining his career as an engineer.

Watch Blanco recite his poem here

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