"Inauguration Day"

"Inauguration Day"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Jan. 20 2009 7:14 AM

"Inauguration Day"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Frank Bidart read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes..

Today, despite what is dead

staring out across America I see since
Lincoln gunmen
nursing fantasies of purity betrayed,
dreaming to restore
the glories of their blood and state

despite what is dead but lodged within us, hope

under the lustrous flooding moon
the White House is still
Whitman's White House, its
gorgeous front
full of reality, full of illusion

hope made wise by dread begins again


Frank Bidart's most recent book of poems is Star Dust.

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