Former Miami poet Richard Blanco created special symbolism with his mere presence on the podium at President Obama's inauguration last month. Blanco, Cuban-American and gay, will read the poem he delivered to the nation that day, "One Today," along with other works, at a reading on Friday in the Knight Concert Hall at Miami's Arsht Center.
The strength of "One Today" was its plainspoken universality, your ordinary, day-to-day life appreciated and exalted in lyrics crafted for the unique rhythm of a nation. Like Whitman, Blanco hears the mechanics, masons and mothers of America singing:
My face, your face, millions of faces in morning's mirrors, each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day: pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights, fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper-- bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us, on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives-- to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did for twenty years, so I could write this poem
Blanco's reading at 7:30 p.m. Friday, sponsored by Books and Books, is free, but first-come, first-served reservations are required. You can reserve your seat here or by calling 305-949-6722.
The evening will include a bilingual reading of Blanco's poems, including "One Today," an onstage interview (by a special guest to be named) and an audience Q&A. Blanco also will sign books in the lobby afterward. In case you've forgotten, here is Blanco reading "One Today":
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